Hunter-Reay stays with Andretti Autosport

By Dave Lewandowski

Ryan Hunter-Reay will have the personal luxury of stability and security through the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season.
Hunter-Reay, who won the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach this year, has signed a two-year contract to remain with Andretti Autosport. Sponsorship will be announced soon, the team said.

“I couldn’t be happier knowing my future is with Andretti Autosport,” said Hunter-Reay, who will join Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti in testing at Barber Motorsports Park on Oct. 30-31. “Starting the job in October, rather than in March, will be a luxury I’ve never had before. I look to become a title contender throughout the season.”

Hunter-Reay, 29, joined Andretti Autosport this season after splitting seat time at Vision Racing and A.J. Foyt Racing in 2009. Primary sponsorship for Hunter-Reay’s car was extended twice, allowing the Florida resident to compete in all 17 races. He finished a career-high seventh in the championship standings with 12 top-10 finishes.

“In what looked to be just a partial 2010 season, this team worked incredibly hard to make the full season a reality and the results speak loudly of our potential together,” he said. “I cannot say enough about the professionalism of this team across the board, both competitively and from a commercial perspective.”

Hunter-Reay entered the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2007 with Rahal Letterman Racing at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in August and recorded his first victory in July 2008 at Watkins Glen International. Hunter-Reay has 28 top-10 finishes in 57 career starts.

“As we prepare for 2011, I have strong relationships within the team to build on,” said Hunter-Reay, who agreed to terms of an agreement in May. “Our goals are reasonable and achievable. Michael has taken the reins of this team, knows what he wants to accomplish and how to get there. Anything less than wins and challenging for the championship next year would be unacceptable. With that said, we all recognize there is a lot of work to be done to bring the team back to that level.”

In addition to Marco Andretti, Danica Patrick is signed through the 2011 season. Both are race winners in the series, which kicks off the 2011 schedule March 27 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.

“We’re thrilled to be able to sign Ryan to a multi-year contract,” said Michael Andretti, chairman, president and CEO of Andretti Autosport. “He is a driver that has earned the right to have that kind of stability and we feel very fortunate to know that he will be a major piece of our foundation going forward.

“Ryan proved this year that he was the perfect choice to join our team. Not only did he substantially contribute to our engineering and set-up capabilities, he is a threat to win at every circuit we race on. We recognized early on that Ryan is that ‘total package’ both on and off the track and that is why we all worked so hard to keep Ryan for the full season this year.
“It will be fun preparing for the 2011 season knowing that we have a solid program with Ryan. We need to work to get stronger as a race team and put ourselves in a position to compete for our fourth series championship. Ryan will be a major part of that effort.”

source http://www.indycar.com

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