Ryan Hunter-Reay and Rubens Barrichello were both in a hurry to finish their media obligations following the Rolex 24 At Daytona sports car race Jan. 31. But each was leaving Daytona International Speedway with a smile on his face.
Barrichello, the longtime Formula One driver who spent the 2012 Verizon IndyCar Series season as a teammate to his good friend Tony Kanaan, was a last-minute Rolex 24 addition to the Wayne Taylor Racing team that wound up second overall. Limited in track time before and during the event, Barrichello said he loved the experience before he had to bust away to catch a flight to his native Brazil.
“I’m sorry that I didn’t get to drive much because I really wanted to help, but I think the team did a fantastic job,” Barrichello said. “We had the fastest (Daytona Prototype) on the track and it was nice just to be with all of them. I hope to be back. I love the series and I did enjoy my time with the team.”
Hunter-Reay was part of the Visit Florida Racing team that finished third overall and on the same lap as the winning ESH Racing Honda Ligier. Haggard from completing a triple stint to complete the 24-hour endurance test, Hunter-Reay was on his way to Sebring International Raceway, where his Andretti Autosport team is set to conduct an Indy car test today in preparation for the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in just six weeks.
“It’s a great way to get fit for the beginning of the season, it’s a great way to start the season,” Hunter-Reay said of his podium finish. “I haven’t slept at all and I have to go to the track (at Sebring) for testing tomorrow in the Indy car. I ended the race on a triple stint, so three hours in the car at the end. I’ll be pretty sore tomorrow.”
But there are no pity parties in racing. After Hunter-Reay lamented his plight, his sports car teammate and former Indy car racer Ryan Dalziel quipped, “We’ll be thinking of you tonight at the bar.”
Power helps raise money at Barrett-Jackson
Will Power made an appearance at the latest Barrett-Jackson Auction as part of a fund-raising auction.
The 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series champion drove the first production 2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS, VIN No. 001, onto the auction block before it was auctioned off to benefit Kettering University, a Flint, Mich. university with close ties to General Motors.
The $500,000 winning bid was placed by championship-winning race team owner Rick Hendrick and was only a small chunk of his $4 million shopping spree at the Barrett-Jackson Auction on Jan. 29-30.
Hendrick, an avid collector of cars, also paid $1.2 million for the first production 2017 Acura NSX hybrid sports car.