Former Indy 500 champ Rice heads for X Games

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2004 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice will join the Global Rallycross field for the X Games in Foz do Iguacu, Brazil. Rice will drive this coming Sunday’s event for Marklund Motorsport in one of their Volkswagen Polos.

With this being Rice’s debut in professional rallycross, it’s another accomplishment to add to his already solid resume. In addition to his Indy triumph with Rahal Letterman Racing (now Rahal Letterman Lanigan) back in ’04, Rice also won the overall Rolex 24 at Daytona title in 2009 with the Brumos Racing team.

“The rallycross deal is really exciting,” said Rice in a statement. “It’s a stadium format, it’s something that’s totally different, and I really have always liked new challenges. I think the more diverse you are, the better driver you become. I haven’t done this before, it’s something totally new to me, but I look forward to the challenge and seeing what I can do.”

Rice admitted that a full-time move to rallycross was “definitely a possibility,” and is hopeful that he can adapt quickly to the discipline. He will have no test time to acclimate himself before racing in Brazil.

“I’m going at this thing cold turkey,” he said. “I’ll be real green, but I’m going to be like a sponge. There are going to be lots of guys there with lots of talent, there are going to be some driver coaches on hand, so I’m just going to ask as many questions as I can.”

In addition to Rice, other notable drivers such as Travis Pastrana, Scott Speed, and Nelson Piquet Jr. are slated to take part in the event this weekend.

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”