SRT Motorsports announced today that Ryan Hunter-Reay and Rob Bell will join the factory two-car team for the extended endurance races in the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in 2014.
Hunter-Reay, the 2012 IndyCar Series champion, returns to the SRT Motorsports team he competed with in 2012 and is looking forward to getting the upcoming racing season off to a good start overall.
“The SRT Motorsports program has come such a long way in a short period of time,” Hunter-Reay said. “This is truly one of the most competitive forms of GT class racing in the world and for the Viper GTS-R team to earn three poles and a win last season is outstanding. I have a long history with the Riley Technologies family and am looking forward to working with the same group in 2014 to again represent SRT on the track.”
Hunter-Reay competes full-time in the IndyCar Series for Andretti Autosport. With 10 years and over 150 career starts, he has recorded 11 victories behind the wheel of an Indy car. In 2012 he secured the series championship after capturing a league-leading four victories in the season. Hunter-Reay is the only driver to earn wins in IndyCar, CART, Champ Car, ALMS and GRAND-AM.
Early in his career, Hunter-Reay was the 1999 Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Champion. In 2002, he won three races in the Toyota Atlantic Series and then moved up to the Champ Car World Series in 2003 and scored his first win at Surfers Paradise in Australia. In 2004 he then led all 250 laps en route to victory at The Milwaukee Mile, the historic track where he also recorded back to back wins in 2012 and 2013.
Hunter-Reay has 16 previous starts in the former GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series where he owns one victory in 2007 at Miller Motorsports Park Toole, Utah, and four total podium finishes. He has seven starts in the Rolex 24 At Daytona with a best finish of second overall in 2013.
Hunter-Reay will join returning drivers Dominik Farnbacher and Marc Goossens in the No. 91 SRT Viper GTS-R. Hunter-Reay and Goossens have a winning history together and were co-drivers in the 2007 Utah GRAND-AM victory driving a Riley Technologies entered Riley Daytona Prototype that also carried No. 91.
A McLaren GT factory driver, Bell has been racing sports cars for over eight years after working his way through the ranks of karting and single-seat race cars. During this time he has driven for Ferrari, Aston Martin and Porsche, competing in all the major sports car series including the European and American Le Mans Series and FIA GT. He has competed in the sports premier endurance races including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans.
“After seeing the steady progress the SRT Motorsports team has made, I can’t wait to get behind the wheel at Daytona and compete against some of the best GT class teams in the world,” Bell said. “Being the new kid on the block that is joining a team as it continues to grow and get better with every race, I’m confident it won’t take long to feel right at home.”
A double European Le Mans Series (ELMS) champion, Bell began his career in the UK Formula Renault championship, taking two titles before moving into sports cars in 2005. Since this time he has completed five seasons in ELMS, taking the GT2 titles in 2007 and 2008. He has made six 24 Hours of Le Mans starts with a best finish of fourth in GT2 in 2009 after having spent most of the race in second place. Bell has also made five starts in the Spa 24 Hours, including a second-place finish in 2009, and he also has a GT runner-up finish in the 2011 Rolex 24 At Daytona. Additional U.S starts include a return to Daytona for the 2012 Rolex 24, four Sebring appearances and three Petit Le Mans starts.
Bell will be joining returning drivers Jonathan Bomarito and Kuno Wittmer in the No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R.
“With Ryan returning and Rob joining SRT Motorsports, we’ve solidified our team for competition in the longer endurance events,” said Beth Paretta, Director of Marketing and Operations – SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC. “We can now turn our focus to continuing to get ready for Daytona and the upcoming season. We’re excited to kick off the new season and confident that we can continue improving and have an even better year in 2014.”
All six SRT Motorsports drivers will be participating in a press conference this Friday, January 3, at 12:20 p.m. in the infield media center at Daytona International Speedway where the annual Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona is being held, January 3rd – 5th, 2014. The season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, the inaugural race of the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, will be run January 25th and 26th, 2014.
(SRT Motorsports, photo: IMSA.com)