Ryan Hunter-Reay may race Rolex 24, with what team is TBD

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It appears that the 2012 IndyCar champion, Ryan Hunter-Reay, will be racing in this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, the opening race to the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. The question is in what car.

He tweeted out this this morning: “Daytona bound. Time to get to work.”

Hunter-Reay has 17 prior starts in the GRAND-AM Rolex Series, including seven straight in the Rolex 24 (2007-2013).

Last year, Hunter-Reay raced alongside Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor in Wayne Taylor’s No. 10 Corvette Daytona Prototype, and the team finished second overall. In 2012, he was a last-minute add to Starworks Motorsport’s second-generation Ford Riley DP as that team sorted through various combinations. In 2010 and 2011, he raced with Scott Tucker’s Level 5 Motorsports team, when they ran DPs.

Level 5 has three confirmed entries for this year’s Rolex 24, with two cars in the PC class and a Ferrari 458 Italia in GT Daytona to be driven at this weekend’s Roar Before the 24 test by Tucker and the team’s three confirmed GT class drivers, Townsend Bell, Bill Sweedler and Jeff Segal. Starworks also has two PC class cars entered, with three confirmed drivers (Isaac Tutumlu, Sam Bird, Rob Huff). Both Level 5 (Ferrari GTD) and Starworks (Riley DP) have second alternate cars as well.

The WTR Corvette is out with Angelelli and three Taylors – Jordan, Ricky and father Wayne – in the No. 10 car this time around.

Hunter-Reay, we should also note, is now a Honda driver in IndyCar for Andretti Autosport, and has some HPD prototype experience. But the only HPDs in the field, at Extreme Speed Motorsports, have already confirmed their full Rolex 24 lineups.

The six Corvette DP lineups for this year’s Rolex 24 – save for Marsh Racing – are currently at their projected capacities of either three, four or five drivers depending on the team’s preference. The two Corvette Racing GTLM cars are also booked up.

Another possible landing spot is at SRT Motorsports, in one of the team’s GTLM class Viper GTS-Rs. Hunter-Reay has a past history with Riley Motorsports and Bill Riley, and drove an SRT Viper in the 2012 Petit Le Mans. His IndyCar team, Andretti Autosport, has a prior relationship with SRT as well as SRT was presenting sponsor of the Andretti Sports Marketing-promoted Grand Prix of Baltimore in 2012 and 2013. The team has a spot open with Ryan Dalziel moving onto Extreme Speed Motorsports in 2014; Dalziel was an endurance race driver at SRT in 2013.

Confirmed IndyCar drivers at the Rolex 24 thus far are Simon Pagenaud at Extreme Speed Motorsports (No. 2 HPD ARX-03b, P), Sebastien Bourdais at Action Express (No. 5 Corvette DP, P) and Ryan Briscoe at Corvette Racing (No. 3 Corvette C7.R, GTLM). Upwards of at least a half dozen more are expected to find rides for the race.

Let the speculation begin. At least until either “RHR” or the team announces.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway can have 10,000 fans for IndyCar races

Indianapolis Motor Speedway fans
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Indianapolis Motor Speedway will have crowds for its NTT IndyCar Series race weekend next month, the first time fans are allowed at the track this year.

The track announced Friday that up to 10,000 fans will be allowed in the grandstands daily from Oct. 1-4. The IndyCar Harvest GP race doubleheader will be held on the track’s road course Oct. 2-3.

IMS has played host to several events this year without fans, including the 104th Indianapolis 500 on Aug. 23 and a NASCAR-IndyCar weekend July 4-5 that included the Brickyard 400. Plans originally were made to have fans at the Indy 500 before reversing course a few weeks ahead of the race. In a letter last month, Roger Penske vowed that fans would return for the 2021 Indy 500.

“We can’t wait to see fans come through our gates for the first time in 2020,” IMS president Doug Boles said in a release. “They’ll be greeted by a vastly improved facility, featuring significant upgrades to the spectator experience. We’re also extremely grateful to have a presenting sponsor with the expertise and resources of GMR as we look to implement our detailed and comprehensive health and safety plan.”

Fans will undergo temperature screenings upon entry and also be required to wear face coverings at all times on property. The track said each attendee will receive a mask and bottle of hand sanitizer.

The Friday, Oct. 2 race will be shown at 3:30 p.m. ET on USA, and NBC will broadcast the Saturday, Oct. 3 race at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Here’s the release from Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020 – For the first time in 2020, Indianapolis Motor Speedway will welcome fans to the Racing Capital of the World for the INDYCAR Harvest GP presented by GMR weekend. Up to 10,000 spectators can be in the grandstands each day of racing action Oct. 1-4, per approval from the Marion County Public Health Department.

Tickets are available now via IMS.com and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

The massive facility, which holds more than 300,000 people, will provide two spectator zones with up to 5,000 fans in each. The zones will be located in Turns 1 and 4 of the oval, offering strong sightlines of the road course. Strict health and safety rules will be in place, including the following:

  • Face coverings must be worn throughout the property at all times;
  • All fans will receive temperature screenings before gate entry;
  • Grandstand seats will be marked for distancing;
  • Attendees must use pre-assigned gates and remain in their designated zones.

Global Medical Response, the world leader in compassionate, quality emergency medical and patient relocation services, will be the presenting sponsor of the penultimate weekend of INDYCAR racing this season.

“We can’t wait to see fans come through our gates for the first time in 2020,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “They’ll be greeted by a vastly improved facility, featuring significant upgrades to the spectator experience. We’re also extremely grateful to have a presenting sponsor with the expertise and resources of GMR as we look to implement our detailed and comprehensive health and safety plan.”

The plan, which includes each attendee receiving a mask and a bottle of hand sanitizer upon entering the track, was developed in consultation with state and local health officials.

This event weekend is highlighted by an NTT INDYCAR SERIES doubleheader, with races Friday, Oct. 2 and Saturday, Oct. 3. It will be the penultimate event of the series’ season as the field pursues the champion’s prestigious Astor Challenge Cup to be awarded Sunday, Oct. 25 at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

The INDYCAR Harvest GP will pay tribute to a storied IMS event, the Harvest Classic in September 1916. The Harvest Classic was the only racing event held outside of May at IMS from 1911 through 1993. The event featured three races, all won by legendary driver Johnny Aitken.

Fans also will see a host of facility improvements during the event weekend, including more than 30 new LED video boards, refreshed concession stands and restrooms, and 5G wireless connectivity throughout the facility.

The first race will air at 3:30 p.m. (ET) Friday, Oct. 2 on the USA Network. NBC will broadcast the second race at 2:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday, Oct. 3, with WTHR-13 airing the action live in Central Indiana.

Also racing that weekend will be the first pairing of two major sports car series — the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli and its North American counterpart, GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS. Former Indianapolis 500 pole winner Ryan Briscoe is among the drivers in the Indianapolis 8 Hour event held Sunday, Oct. 4.

The event also will showcase drivers in SRO America’s Pirelli GT4 America, GT Sports Club America and the TC America series.

The full on-track schedule is available at IMS.com.