10.17.2012 – While the off season means time away from the track for IZOD IndyCar Series fans, drivers often fill their spare time racing through the winter in other series. That is the case this off season for Andretti Autosport drivers Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Just a month after clinching the IZOD IndyCar Series title in a down-to-the-finish season finale, Hunter-Reay will return to the race track for the Petit Le Mans endurance sports car race at Road Atlanta.
Hunter-Reay, 31, will co-pilot the SRT Viper GTSR for SRT Motorsports in the GT class alongside drivers Kuno Wittmer and Dominik Farnbacher. It will be his first time competing in the car, which debuted in the American Le Mans Series earlier this year.
“I feel I have the greatest job in the world so why not do it as much as possible?” said Hunter-Reay. “I love new challenges and the work that comes with adapting to a new car, a new project and a new track. It really does keep you sharp.”
Following Road Atlanta, Hunter-Reay will head to Bangkok, Thailand for the Race of Champions Dec. 14 to 16. He will join a field that already includes former Formula One champions Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel. Driver pair ups for the event are yet to be scheduled. He will then return to the states for more endurance racing joining the field for the Rolex 24 at Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring, both early in the 2013 calendar.
“Every lap you have the opportunity to be in a race car of any kind, you’re better preparing yourself for whatever the next challenge may bring,” added Hunter-Reay. “Keeping an open mind to different driving styles and approaches I may not have used in the past will make me a better IndyCar driver, and race car driver in general, in the future.”
Andretti Autosport’s other two IndyCar drivers, Marco Andretti and James Hinchcliffe, have headed to the land of Oz to compete in the Gold Coast 600 on Oct. 19 to 21. While teammates back in the states, they will go head to head on the streets of Surfer’s Paradise in Queensland, Australia.
Canadian born driver Hinchcliffe will join Garry Rogers Motorsports in a 650HP Holden Commodores driving alongside Michael Caruso. This will be his first time racing in Australia, but he feels at home, carrying the colors of his familiar IndyCar sponsor GoDaddy.com.
"I'm looking forward to carrying the Go Daddy flag into Australia," said Hinch. “It's a cool partnership with Go Daddy coming on board. For me it's a dream come true – to get behind the wheel of one of those cars. And because we're in Kirsten's (girlfriend, reigning Miss Sydney, Kirsten Dee) backyard it will be cool to have some locals in my corner, too!”
Also joining the V8 Supercars line-up will be third generation American driver Marco Andretti. Andretti will drive for Kelly Racing, alongside Todd Kelly. He has experience on the Surfers track from the 2008 IndyCar Series season, where he finished 14th in the exhibition event.
“It's always good to stay in some kind of seat during the off season,” said Andretti. “The best way to compare to an Indy car is apples to oranges, I think. It's a different discipline but it's still fun and makes us stronger overall.”
Keep up on these Andretti Autosport drivers and all of their off season racing action at www.andrettiautosport.com and on Twitter by following @FollowAndretti.