IndyCar Driver Review: Ryan Hunter-Reay

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MotorSportsTalk continues its run through the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series field. Finishing sixth after a year where he hit the jackpot in May, but again had too much bad luck that sabotaged his season on the whole was Ryan Hunter-Reay.

2014 SEASON PREVIEW

Ryan Hunter-Reay

  • Team: Andretti Autosport
  • 2013: 7th Place, 2 Wins, 3 Poles, 6 Podiums, 7 Top-5, 9 Top-10, 297 Laps Led, 5.4 Avg. Start, 11.6 Avg. Finish
  • 2014: 6th Place, 3 Wins, 1 Pole, 6 Podiums, 6 Top-5, 9 Top-10, 195 Laps Led, 10.2 Avg. Start, 10.9 Avg. Finish

It almost seems that Ryan Hunter-Reay’s ticked off the racing gods whenever major success hits him. He won the 2012 IndyCar championship after a ten-year fight to the top, then was completely overlooked in the offseason and struggled through an inconsistent, turbulent 2013.

Fast forward to 2014 where RHR wins the Indianapolis 500 in dynamic fashion, and he’s seemingly at the peak of his powers with four top-two finishes from the first five races (and only a momentary lapse at Long Beach cost him a fifth). Then 11 of his final 13 races of 2014 are disastrous at best. Go figure.

Post-Indy, RHR endured a nightmare Detroit, suffered a mechanical issue in Texas, missed the setup in Houston but fought to two top-10s, had a suspension failure in Pocono, stole the Iowa win, had contact with TK in Toronto, spun at Mid-Ohio, qualified poorly, recovered and then had another suspension issue in Milwaukee, scored a surprise second in Sonoma and spun again in Fontana.

In some respects, RHR mirrored the season of the last two ‘500 winners, Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan – he hit the ultimate one-race season-high, but didn’t have a great overall year to complement it. On the bright side, armed with a contract extension with Andretti Autosport and sponsor DHL, he has job stability, and renewed desire to bounce back in 2015.

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”