Ryan Hunter-Reay joins SRT Viper team for USC enduros
|By Gary Watkins||Friday, January 3rd 2014, 17:14 GMT|
Former IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay will return to Chrysler's SRT Viper squad for this year's United SportsCar Championship enduros.
Hunter-Reay joined the Riley-run SRT Motorsports squad for its first enduro at Road Atlanta as the end of its short debut season in the American Le Mans Series in 2012 and will now reprise that role in the three extended USC endurance races this year.
The 33-year-old will share one of the team's GT Le Mans class SRT Viper GTS-R contenders with Dominik Farnbacher and Mark Goossens at the Daytona 24 Hours later this month and then the Sebring 12 Hours and Petit Le Mans at Road America.
Hunter-Reay, whose sportscar outings in 2013 were limited to appearances at Daytona and Sebring by calendar clashes, said: "The SRT Motorsports programme has come such a long way in a short period of time.
"This is truly one of the most competitive forms of GT racing in the world and for the Viper GTS-R team to earn three poles and a win last season was outstanding."
McLaren factory driver Rob Bell, who was also part of Aston Martin Racing's World Endurance Championship line-up, has signed up for the USC enduros and will drive with Jonathan Bomarito and Kuno Wittmer.
SRT Motorsports boss Beth Paretta said: "With Ryan returning and Rob joining SRT, we've solidified our team for competition in the longer endurance events."
Hunter-Reay takes the place of new Extreme Speed Motorsports driver Ryan Dalziel, who has been ruled out of the seat by the merger that has created by the USC for 2014.
Bell replaces veteran Tommy Kendall, who returned to racing at the age of 44 to be part of the Viper programme in 2012.
It has yet to be announced who will join SRT's regular pairings for its second assault on the GTE Pro class at the Le Mans 24 Hours in June.
Hunter-Reay will be unable to contest the event with SRT because the test day, in which he would have to take part as a race rookie, clashes with the Detroit IndyCar weekend.