The 2014 Race Of Champions will feature the winner of this year's Indianapolis 500 after Ryan Hunter-Reay signed up to compete at the event, to be held at the Bushy Park Circuit in Barbados on December 13-14.
Hunter-Reay won the famous Borg-Warner Trophy and the legendary bottle of milk as he took victory in the Indianapolis 500 for the first time in May. But it was no easy ride for the American in the biggest single-day spectator event in world sport. After a six-lap closing battle with Brazil's Helio Castroneves, Hunter-Reay sealed victory by just 0.06 seconds, the second closest finish in the history of the classic race.
Now the performance – one of his three IndyCar wins in 2014 – has earned Hunter-Reay another reward as he becomes the third driver confirmed so far for ROC 2014 in Barbados. This will be Hunter-Reay's second Race Of Champions appearance as he also competed two years ago after he won the 2012 IndyCar Series championship.
Hunter-Reay is the most successful American driver currently racing in open-wheel competition and the only driver to have taken victories in IndyCar, CART, ChampCar, ALMS, and GrandAm. Now he will bid to draw on all his experience in Barbados for the 2014 Race Of Champions.
Hunter-Reay said: "I'm absolutely thrilled to be returning to the Race Of Champions for the second time. My first ROC in Bangkok was an amazing experience, going head-to-head with some of the best drivers from every different motor sport discipline from around the world. So I want to thank Fredrik Johnsson and his ROC team for putting on such a spectacular event.
"Experience really helps with the short amount of seat time in each of the different types of ROC race car. When it's time to head to Barbados for the race weekend I'll be focused on winning. It's an honor to represent America, IndyCar and the Indy 500 in such a prestigious event."
ROC organizer Fredrik Johnsson added: "It's great news that Ryan is coming back to the Race Of Champions. This year's Indianapolis 500 was a true classic and Ryan did brilliantly to hold off his rivals by such a tiny margin after that thrilling dice to the checkered flag. Indeed 0.06 seconds is the kind of gap we are used to seeing at the Race Of Champions so hopefully he should feel right at home!
"We can now look forward to seeing Ryan take on greats from all over the world of motor sport in December. He's right at the top of his game and now that he's already had a taster of the ROC machinery he's sure to be a big threat to all the other drivers. His presence also means Team USA will be contenders again in the ROC Nations Cup. We hope plenty of American fans will make the trip to Barbados and we look forward to welcoming them to our festival of racing and entertainment."
The Race Of Champions, which has been held for over 25 years, brings together the world's greatest drivers from motor sport's major disciplines – including Formula 1, World Rally, Le Mans, MotoGP, Nascar, IndyCar, Touring Cars and the X-Games – and sets them free to battle head-to-head in identical machinery on a unique tarmac track with two parallel lanes linked by a crossover bridge.
Tickets for ROC 2014 are now available from http://www.bushyparkcircuitinc.com/roc-tickets. Details about media accreditation will be released shortly. Please visit www.raceofchampions.com for further information and access to high-resolution imagery. Sign up for all the latest updates at www.raceofchampions.com, Race Of Champions on Facebook or @raceofchampions on Twitter.