Hunter-Reay on Borg-Warner face reveal: “There’s nothing you can do to be ready”

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This past May, if he hadn’t been considered one of the all-time greats already, Ryan Hunter-Reay entered that elite distinction within North American open-wheel racing.

The 2012 Verizon IndyCar Series champion added a win in the series’ biggest race, the 98th Indianapolis 500, to go along with the title. That puts him in rarified air among drivers who have secured both.

On Wednesday night, Hunter-Reay got to see the immortalization of his likeness on the iconic Borg-Warner Trophy, revealed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway museum. The likeness, the 101st face on the trophy, is the 25th face created by sculptor William Behrends.

And for Hunter-Reay, even with six-plus months to prepare for the occasion, he was still in awe when he saw his face adorned on the trophy.

“There’s nothing you can do to be ready for it,” Hunter-Reay told MotorSportsTalk in a phone interview.

“It’s a lifelong, career-long goal, and you have to have a car good enough to win and deliver on that. It’s the energy of winning the greatest race in the world.

“This is the first opportunity to come back and see it really solidified. Now, it’s truly a part of history. I don’t know if I’ll understand the full magnitude until several years down the road. But to bring my family here to the museum and have them see my face on one of the greatest trophies is something you can barely describe.”

Indeed, the driver of the No. 28 DHL Honda for Andretti Autosport had wife Beccy and their two-year-old son Ryden also on hand for the display. Despite some playful poking, Ryan hasn’t yet secured a second “Mini Baby Borg” for Ryden to go along with his own “Baby Borg” he’ll receive early 2015 – as was the case for Tony Kanaan’s son Leo last year.

In examining the sculpting, Hunter-Reay said Behrends did a sterling job and nailed all his facial aspects.

“It’s me to a T,” he said. “It hits my cheeks, my chin … I have a pretty big chin going on. So he did an incredible job.”

Hunter-Reay is already prepping for the Baby Borg to come home with him to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

“That’s the opportunity to bring the 500 victory home, when you’re at home,” he said. “I already have a space reserved for it. To be among the names, with so many of these guys I idolized growing up is pretty unique.”

The win was of course not only big for him personally, but for sponsor DHL and the rest of the Andretti team.

Photos from the process through to the unveil follow below:

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The process in which the image is made – first clay, then ceramic, then wax and finally sterling silver. Photo courtesy Steve Shunck
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Sculptor William Behrends (in reflection) attaches Ryan Hunter-Reay’s image to the base of the Borg-Warner Trophy. Photo courtesy Steve Shunck
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Family affair. Beccy Hunter-Reay and Ryden with Ryan. Photo: LAT/Borg-Warner

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing
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Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.