Ryan Hunter-Reay and Mazda Team Joest share a similar goal for the upcoming Rolex 24 At Daytona: reaching the top step of the podium.
“I’ve been second here, third a few times and now I really, really, really want an overall win here,” said Hunter-Reay, who will co-drive the No. 55 Mazda RT24-P with Jonathan Bomarito and Harry Tincknell.
“Obviously getting the [Rolex] watch, but that overall win is the ultimate objective. I’ve been close many times, and now I’m with a program that has a real good chance of making that happen. I’ve been here with great programs in the past, but it’s just so hard to put it all together — whether it’s something happening mechanically or circumstances beyond your control.”
Hunter-Reay won open-wheel racing’s crown jewel — the Indianapolis 500 — in 2014 in addition to the 2012 IndyCar Series title and has 18 victories in IndyCar competition. He’s raced in the Rolex 24 12 times since 2007, finishing second with Wayne Taylor Racing in 2013, third in GTLM with Viper in 2014, and third overall with Visit Florida Racing in 2016. RHR also won Petit Le Mans and placed second at Sebring in 2018 for Wayne Taylor Racing.
Hunter-Reay stepped in for a substitute role with Mazda last year, placing third with Bomarito at Mid-Ohio as part of a 2-3 finish that foreshadowed big things to come for the team.
“I’ve had a great relationship with Multimatic in the past, and also with [former Mazda Motorsports director] John Doonan, with the Mazda Road to Indy program. The opportunity came up to drive with the team last year at Mid-Ohio, because Harry couldn’t make one of the races. Jonathan is a long-time friend of mine and former teammate with Viper, and it worked out real well. So this is a natural fit.
“This will be my 13th Rolex 24, and I’m really looking forward to it.”