Hunter-Reay: I picked hardest group in Race Of Champions draw

Former IndyCar champion and Indy 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay claims he picked the hardest group for Saturday’s Race Of Champions in Miami’s Marlins Park baseball stadium.

Hunter-Reay: I picked hardest group in Race Of Champions draw
Ryan Hunter-Reay
Winner Sebastian Vettel, second place Tom Kristensen, third place Petter Solberg
Kurt Busch and Ryan Hunter-Reay in the Radical car that will participate in the 2017 Race of Champions in Miami at the Marlins Park
Tom Kristensen
Winner Sebastian Vettel, second place Tom Kristensen
Kurt Busch and Ryan Hunter-Reay and the Radical car that will participate in the 2017 Race of Champions in Miami at the Marlins Park
Jose Maria Lopez, Tom Kristensen, Daniel Ricciardo
Race of Champions President Fredrik Johnsson, Kurt Busch and Ryan Hunter-Reay
Tom Kristensen
Daniel Ricciardo, Felipe Massa, Jenson Button, David Coulthard, Tom Kristensen, Petter Solberg
Tom Kristensen
Helio Castroneves with Dancing with the Stars partner Julianne Hough
Kurt Busch and Ryan Hunter-Reay
Winner Sebastian Vettel

Hunter-Reay – who picked the names along with fellow Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves during Monday’s blind draw – will go up against Tom Kristensen, Kurt Busch and 2014 champion David Coulthard.

“Somehow I’ve picked two ROC champions in my group,” he said of Coulthard and Kristensen, the latter a two-time ROC Nations’ Cup winner.

“I guess you might as well get through the difficult part at the beginning!

“Never do you get this much racing talent in one place, one event. The grip level is down, so we’re sliding around, so it’s a matter of adapting. It’s really unique to see drivers out of their comfort zone in the different cars.

“It’s your opportunity to up against the best of the best, so you have to seize it. This is going to be the best one yet.”

Button v Busch, Montoya v Solberg…

Saturday’s event will also see 2015 NASCAR champion Kyle Busch race against ex-F1 world champion Jenson Button, plus 2013 Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan and last year’s Indy 500 pole-sitter James Hinchcliffe.

Meanwhile, two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya will take on World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg, 2015 DTM champion and new Sauber F1 signing Pascal Wehrlein, and 11-time Grand Prix race winner Felipe Massa.

The reigning ROC Champion of Champions, four-time F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel, will begin the defence of his title against action sports great Travis Pastrana and three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves.

They will be joined by the winner of a play-off between Global Rallycross Champion Scott Speed and 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi.

“I’m not worried!” quipped Castroneves of being drawn against Vettel, Pastrana and Speed/Rossi. “No, I respect all of the drivers – they’re first-class athletes – and every one of them competing has amazing qualities, plus switching cars throughout the event means the advantage will constantly be shifting.

“That’s why this is such a great event.”

The top two drivers in each group progress to the quarter-finals. From there, it’s a knockout tournament all the way to the Grand Final, when this year’s Champion of Champions will be crowned.

Race Of Champions Draw (Saturday 21 January)

Group A

Sebastian Vettel (Germany)

Travis Pastrana (USA)

Helio Castroneves (Brazil)

Scott Speed (USA) or Alexander Rossi (USA)

Group B

Juan-Pablo Montoya (Colombia)

Petter Solberg (Norway)

Felipe Massa (Brazil)

Pascal Wehrlein (Germany) 

Group C

Jenson Button (Great Britain)

Kyle Busch (USA)

Tony Kanaan (Brazil)

James Hinchcliffe (Canada)

Group D

Tom Kristensen (Denmark)

Kurt Busch (USA)

David Coulthard (Great Britain)

Ryan Hunter-Reay (USA)

shares
comments
Unser Jr, Fittipaldi, Rossi among RRDC’s new members
Previous article

Unser Jr, Fittipaldi, Rossi among RRDC’s new members

Next article

Marlins Park roof to be closed for 2017 Race Of Champions

Marlins Park roof to be closed for 2017 Race Of Champions
Load comments
Rating the best drivers of the century so far Prime

Rating the best drivers of the century so far

Autosport's Top 50 feature has been a staple of the magazine for the past two decades since its first appearance in 2002. Here are the drivers that have featured most prevalently during that time

General
Jan 7, 2022
The best motorsport moments of 2021 Prime

The best motorsport moments of 2021

Motorsport produced one of its greatest years of all-time in 2021 despite a backdrop of ongoing COVID-19 challenges and an ever-changing racing landscape. Through the non-stop action Motorsport.com has collected the finest moments from the past 12 months to highlight the incredible drama and joy motorsport generates.

General
Dec 31, 2021
The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers Prime

The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers

Making it in motorsport can be tough, and sometimes drivers move elsewhere before their best chance arrives. Here are some of those who made it back

General
Dec 26, 2021
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under Prime

The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under

Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights

General
May 20, 2021
Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth Prime

Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth

Jean Todt has signalled that he will not stand for re-election as FIA president. Mark Gallagher analyses the strong credentials of one potential successor…

General
May 2, 2021
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Prime

The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing

OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be.

General
Apr 21, 2021
The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction Prime

The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction

The forthcoming Netflix film linking the world of underworld crime and motorsport plays on a theme that isn't exactly new. Over the years, several shady figures have attempted to make it in racing before their dubious dealings caught up with them.

General
Jan 31, 2021
The cherished curios kept by motorsport's professionals at home Prime

The cherished curios kept by motorsport's professionals at home

Keeping trophies and momentos of key triumphs is par for the course for motorsport professionals, but what are the most cherished souvenirs picked up by the drivers and engineers who have seen and done it all?

General
Dec 26, 2020