LONDON – Former IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay is disappointed that Milwaukee has been dropped from the calendar for the 2016 season, but is hopeful it will return in the future.
The ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at the Milwaukee Mile was omitted from next season’s schedule as the race could not find a new promoter, nor an available date after three different slots in the past three years (June 15, 2013, August 17, 2014 and July 12, 2015).
Although its loss has been countered by the return of fellow one-mile oval Phoenix and fan favorite, permanent road course and another Wisconsin track in Road America, the absence of Milwaukee has still come as a disappointment to many, including Hunter-Reay.
Speaking to MotorSportsTalk in London ahead of this weekend’s Race of Champions, Hunter-Reay said that although he was pleased by the new arrivals, he hoped something could be done to take IndyCar back to the Mile in future years.
“Yeah Phoenix, Road America, all tracks that I love seeing on the schedule,” the Andretti Autosport driver said.
“I’m a little bit bummed Milwaukee isn’t on the schedule, but hopefully [it will return] in the future.”
Hunter-Reay finished sixth in the final standings in 2015 after a strong finish to the year, scoring wins at Iowa and Pocono and finish second at the double-points finale at Sonoma in the last four races.
The 2012 series champion is hopeful of carrying this momentum over into the new season, feeling encouraged by the early testing ahead of the new campaign.
“I hope so,” Hunter-Reay said when asked if he could continue his good end-of-year form.
“There’s quite a few changes coming from Honda for 2016, so we’re basically waiting to see what performance comes out of that.
“Testing so far has been good though. I don’t think the super-speedway package will change but we’ll see.”
Hunter-Reay will represent Team Americas this weekend at the Race of Champions alongside WTCC driver Jose Maria Lopez, and is delighted to have been invited to the event.
“Since the first time in Bangkok I’ve really looked forward to coming back,” he said. “Barbados last year was a good one for me, won five out of the six races, just missed it at the end to advance to the finals.
“I can’t say enough about how they put this event on and being here with the world’s best drivers, it’s an honor to be in their company.”