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IndyCar king Hunter-Reay relishes Schumacher clash

Thu 13 December 2012

IndyCar king Hunter-Reay relishes Schumacher clash

IndyCar king Hunter-Reay relishes Schumacher clash
  • Reigning IndyCar champion Hunter-Reay can’t wait to take on Michael Schumacher at this weekend’s Race Of Champions in Bangkok
  • The American driver has been drawn in the same group as seven-time F1 world champion Schumacher for Sunday’s individual race
  • The full draw also includes reigning F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel plus multiple MotoGP world champions Mick Doohan and Jorge Lorenzo

      Reigning IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay is relishing the opportunity to race against seven-time F1 world champion Michael Schumacher at this weekend’s Race Of Champions at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.

      The Race Of Champions, which is being staged for the 25th consecutive year in 2012, brings together the world’s greatest drivers from motor sport’s main disciplines – including Formula 1, world rally, touring cars, Le Mans, MotoGP, IndyCar and the X-Games – and sets them free to battle head-to-head in identical machinery.

      The draw for Sunday’s individual competition has thrown up some exciting pairings, not least the battle between greats of four wheels and two as 2012 Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel goes up against 2012 MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo and 500cc MotoGP legend Mick Doohan.

      But the duel between Hunter-Reay and Schumacher is one of the most intriguing races in the contest. The American once visited the Race Of Champions as a spectator when it was held at the Stade de France in Paris – and now he will get a much closer view of the action.

      Hunter-Reay said: “Just to have the opportunity to compete against the best is something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. It’s going to be a lot of fun. We won the IndyCar championship and now we get to go and duke it out with guys like Michael Schumacher.

      “I’d love to go up against Michael – he’s been somebody I’ve looked up to for a long time and it will be pretty cool to go up against somebody whose picture you’ve got on your wall at home. But I‘ll just take the whole thing in. It’s really good company to be in, Bangkok is a city where you can enjoy it and hopefully we’ll have a great turnout.”

      The American is under no illusions that he will be playing catch-up against the drivers who have been to previous ROC events due to the wide range of vehicles involved. This year’s line-up features the Audi R8 LMS, VW Scirocco, Lamborghini Gallardo Super Trofeo, Toyota GT86 plus ROC favourites including the ROC car, KTM X-Bow and Euro Racecar.

      “The veterans definitely have the upper hand because there are so many cars – including all-wheel drive, traction control, launch systems and all that stuff,” added Hunter-Reay. “So I’ll need to get used to that. It’s going to be a challenge and you’re going to be getting better and better with every lap you have in them. But that’s what it’s all about – adapting and being ready for a new challenge.”

      ROC 2012 begins with Friday’s ROC Thailand and ROC Asia, followed by the ROC Nations Cup on Saturday and the Race Of Champions itself on Sunday.

      Coverage of Saturday’s ROC Nations Cup and Sunday’s Race Of Champions will be available on television all over the world. Stations showing ROC live include SAT1 in Germany, Motors TV throughout Europe, Al Jazeera in the Middle East, Fox in Latin America and Brazil, Speed TV in Australia, the Sony Entertainment Network in India, PPTV and Euro Soccer channel in China, Super Sport in Africa plus many more. Please check local listings for exact details of broadcast times.

      Tickets are still available. For further information, a live results service and access to high-resolution imagery please visit www.raceofchampions.com. Sign up for all the latest updates at www.raceofchampions.com, @raceofchampions on Twitter or Race Of Champions on Facebook.

      Race Of Champions Draw (Sunday December 16)

      Group A
    • Sébastien OGIER, WRC star and reigning ROC ‘Champion of Champions’
    • Jamie WHINCUP, V8 Supercar Champion 2012, 2011, 2009, 2008
    • David COULTHARD, 13 Formula 1 grand prix victories
    • Benito GUERRA, Production World Rally Champion 2012

      Group B
    • Tom KRISTENSEN, eight-time Le Mans 24-Hour race winner
    • Andy PRIAULX, three-time World Touring Car Champion
    • ROC Asia 1, top non-Thailand competitor from ROC Asia
    • ROC Thailand 1, winner of ROC Thailand

      Group C
    • Sebastian VETTEL, Formula 1 World Champion 2012, 2011, 2010
    • Jorge LORENZO, MotoGP World Champion 2012, 2010
    • Mick DOOHAN, five-time 500cc MotoGP World Champion
    • ROC Thailand 2, runner-up from ROC Thailand

      Group D
    • Michael SCHUMACHER, seven-time Formula 1 World Champion
    • Ryan HUNTER-REAY, IndyCar Series Champion 2012
    • ROC Asia 2, second-placed non-Thailand competitor from ROC Asia
    • Romain GROSJEAN, three Formula 1 podiums in 2012


      ROC Nations Cup Draw (Saturday December 15)

      Group A
    • Team France (Sébastien OGIER & Romain GROSJEAN)
    • Team Great Britain (David COULTHARD & Andy PRIAULX)
    • Team Americas (Ryan HUNTER-REAY & Benito GUERRA)
    • Team All Stars (Tom KRISTENSEN & Jorge LORENZO)

      Group B
    • Team Germany (Michael SCHUMACHER & Sebastian VETTEL)
    • Team Thailand (The two finalists from ROC Thailand)
    • Team Australia (Mick DOOHAN & Jamie WHINCUP)
    • Team Asia (The leading ROC Asia team other than Thailand)