GASKIN, Barbados – 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay and fellow Americans Kurt Busch and Robby Gordon were all eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Dec. 14 Race Of Champions at Bushy Park on the island of Barbados.
The American trio were the dominant drivers in three of the four qualifying groups.
Busch won Group B, also going a perfect three-for-three. Gordon advanced through Group C with all three wins and Hunter-Reay topped Group D with a perfect record. But they were all sidelined in the next round of competition.
But the quarterfinals proved to be the undoing for all three U.S. drivers. FIA European F3 champion Esteban Ocon defeated Hunter-Reay. Six-time V8 Supercar champion Jamie Whincup topped Busch and Mercedes F1 official reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein withstood the challenge of Gordon, who has won in Indy car and NASCAR in his career.
David Coulthard, a 13-time race winner in Formula One, bested the 15 other drivers assembled from around the world - beating Wehrlein in the best-of-three Grand Final.
In Saturday's team event, American drivers also came up short in the ROC Nations Cup competition. Team Scotland topped Group B with five wins out of six, three for Coulthard and two for Susie Wolff. Team Barbados joined them in the semifinals, knocking out Team USA (Busch and Hunter-Reay) on fastest lap time after both finished with three wins.
Hunter-Reay took two victories and Busch one, but it was not enough to move on. Team Americas - with Gordon - also was eliminated despite his two wins in Stadium Super Trucks.
Team Nordic’s Tom Kristensen, a Le Mans legend, and Petter Solberg, FIA World Rallycross champion, were victorious - beating Team Scotland in the final. First, Kristensen defeated Wolff, the Williams Formula One official test driver. Coulthard was victorious against Solberg to take it to the decider. Kristensen came out on top, winning the final heat after Coulthard spun off at the final corner.