Race of Champions

Ryan Hunter-Reay, Josef Newgarden team up again in Race of Champions

Leave a comment

The Race of Champions announced Friday that past IndyCar champions Ryan Hunter-Reay and Josef Newgarden will reunite as teammates for the second straight year for the January 19-20 ROC in Mexico City.

Hunter-Reay (2012 IndyCar champion and 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner)) and Newgarden (2017 IndyCar champ) are the most recent American drivers to win IndyCar championships. They will once again make up the Team USA entry in the event.

Josef Newgarden (Getty Images)

They will be joined by three-time Indy 500 champion Helio Castroneves (now racing in IMSA for Team Penske) and previously announced 2019 Harding Steinbrenner Racing IndyCar rookie and defending 2018 Indy Lights champion Pato O’Ward, who hails from Mexico.

Another Mexican native who should be a fan favorite is 2016 NASCAR Xfinity Series champ Daniel Suarez.

Other drivers already announced include Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel and sports car legend Tom Kristensen.

But perhaps one of the most notable entries likely to draw more spectators to the event in-person as well as those watching on TV is FIA Formula 3 champ Mick Schumacher, son of seven-time F1 champion Michael Schumacher.

The ROC will take place inside the Foro Sol amphitheater, which abuts part of the annual F1 Mexican Grand Prix course at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

Ryan Hunter-Reay (Getty Images)

All contestants will compete in several types of identically prepared vehicles.

The two-day event will be broken down into a team or region competition on Jan. 19.

Then all drivers will go head-to-head and on their own on Jan. 20 to determine who will be the individual ROC champion.

Hunter-Reay will be making his sixth consecutive appearance in the ROC.

“It is a spectacular event and a unique challenge to jump in and out of all the different cars as you go head-to-head with some of the best drivers in the world,” Hunter-Reay said. “So it is a tremendous honor to be invited to compete again.

“I’m proud to represent America, IndyCar and the Indianapolis 500, and I look forward to hearing the noise of the crowds in Mexico City, where the passion for motorsport is huge.”

As for Newgarden, this will be his second ROC, having competed in last year’s event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

“I’m excited about it,” Newgarden said. “It’s a fun event and it will be fun having it in North America.

“Ryan and I are trying to represent America but there’s some really tough competition again this year.

“There’s a strong Mexican contingent this time around and I’m sure their fans will be really pumped to cheer them on.”

No American driver has ever won the individual title in the ROC. However, NASCAR stars Jimmie Johnson and now-retired Jeff Gordon and now-retired motorcycle racer Colin Edwards won the Nation’s Cup title in 2002.

The ROC has been held since 1988 and has visited numerous venues around the globe including Beijing’s Bird’s Nest, London’s Wembley and Olympic stadiums, Miami’s Marlins Park and Paris’ Stade de France.

While other drivers may still be added before the event, drivers confirmed thus far are:

* 2017 IndyCar champ Josef Newgarden
* 2012 IndyCar champ Ryan Hunter-Reay
* 3-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves
* 4-time F1 champ Sebastian Vettel
* 13-time F1 race winner David Coulthard
* European Formula 3 champion Mick Schumacher
* 2016 NASCAR Xfinity Series champ Daniel Suarez
* 3-time Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona winner Memo Rojas
* 2018 Indy Lights champion Patricio O’Ward
* FIA PWRC champ Benito Guerra
* 9-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen
* 2-time World Rallycross champ Johan Kristoffersson
* 2016-17 Formula E champ Lucas di Grassi

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Cooper Webb, Shane McElrath win Anaheim II Supercross

SupercrossLIVE.com
Leave a comment

Cooper Webb entered the Anaheim II weekend winless in Supercross. He left as a winner and did so in dramatic fashion. Webb was almost perfect in the Triple Crown format. He won the first two Mains and swept the podium with a third-place finish in the final.

Marvin Musquin was the only other driver in 450s to sweep the podium. He did not win any of the Mains, but with a finish of third in the first and second-place results in the last two, he was grabbed the second spot in the overall results.

Eli Tomac won the final Main after finishing fourth in the first two features, which put him third in the overall results.

Trouble continues for last year’s champion. With nine minutes remaining in Main 3, Jason Anderson got into a shoving match with Chad Reed. Knocked out of his rhythm, he finished 17th in that Main and was ninth overall.

Justin Barcia went down hard after being thrown from his bike with five minutes remaining on the clock. He got cross-rutted before being ejected. Barcia was helped from the track by the medical staff.

The 250 class featured three winners in the three Mains. Leading the points by one entering Anaheim II, Colt Nichols was determined to hang onto the red plate. He won the first Main, then finished third and fourth in his next two outings.

Dylan Ferrandis was the runner-up to Nichols in Main 1, but charged back to win Main 2. He finished third in the final Main.

The overall winner of the night, Shane McElrath just got better in every Main. He finished third in the first feature, was second in Main 2 and won the final. That elevated him to second in the points – two behind Nichols.

Nichols holds onto the red plate for the third straight week.

450s

Main 1: Cooper Webb won over Ken Roczen and Marvin Musquin. … Roczen took the hole shot and steadily increased his advantage until Lap 6. Webb was in a battle of his own with Eli Tomac, but still closed the distance and overtook him on the final lap. The two riders went handlebar-to-handlebar on the final lap with Webb grabbing the lead on the run up to the finish line.

Main 2: Webb (cumulative: 2 points) won over Musquin (5) and the opening round winner Justin Barcia (10). Emboldened by his Main 1 win, Webb led checker-to-checker. Running third on Lap 8, Roczen (7) went down after his foot came off the peg. He fell back dramatically, but held onto third in the class points through two mains. Tomas finished fifth in the Main and was fourth in class points. 

Main 3: Tomac (cumulative: 9 points) won over Musquin (7) and Webb (5). Tomac led flag-to-flag, building an advantage of 6.825 seconds at the halfway point. He did not need to keep pushing that hard and allowed Musquin to shave two seconds off his lead, but still had a dominant margin of 4.787 seconds at the end.

250s

Main 1: Colt Nichols won over Dylan Ferrandis and Shane McElrath. … Adam Cianciarulo took a fall after leading three laps and dropped 10 seconds off the pace, but he held on to finish fourth. … Nichols grabbed a lead of more than three seconds and cruised to victory.

Main 2: Ferrandis (cumulative: 3 points) beat McElrath (5) and Nichols (4). … Nichols led the first seven laps of 12 until he made a mistake exiting to whoops and fell. Ferrandis leaped past to take a more than two second lead. Cianciarulo (18) went off track while running fifth with less than a minute on the clock. He dropped to 14th. RJ Hampshire (9) was fourth in class after the first two mains.

Main 3: McElrath (cumulative: 6 points) won over Cianciarulo (20) and Ferrandis (6). Nichols got the hole shot , but Cianciarulo led the first four laps. He could not hold off McElrath, however, who had the overall victory in his sights. By winning the final Main, McElrath took the overall victory. RJ Hampshire rode a steady three races with results of fifth, fourth, and fifth to take fourth overall.

Click here for overall results

Points Leaders

450s
Ken Roczen (63 points)
Eli Tomac (61)
Cooper Webb (57) (1 win)
Justin Barcia (56) (1)
Marvin Musquin (56)

250s
Colt Nichols (70 points) (1 win)
Shane McElrath (68) (1)
Dylan Ferrandis (63)
Adam Cianciarulo (62) (1)
RJ Hampshire (57)

Next race: January 19, Angel Stadium, Anaheim, Calif.

Season passes can be purchased at NBC Sports Gold.

Follow Dan Beaver on Twitter