ECR names Ryan Hunter-Reay as Conor Daly replacement
Friday 9th June, 2023 - 8:34am
Ed Carpenter Racing has opted for Ryan Hunter-Reay as the replacement for Conor Daly in its #20 IndyCar entry.
The announcement comes 24 hours after ECR and Daly “mutually agreed” to part ways, with team owner Ed Carpenter himself citing poor performance as the reason for the move.
The team’s latest communication indicates that Hunter-Reay will drive for the balance of the season, with 10 races remaining in 2023, starting a week from now at Road America.
“I was surprised when I got the call from Ed,” said the 2012 IndyCar Series champion and 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner.
“He described how frustrated he was that his team has not been able to realise its potential despite their efforts, investments, as well as technical and personnel changes over the past few years and asked for my help.
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“Ed and I are very close friends and have been for a long time. I’ve worked with the team in the past and they are a very talented group with high expectations and a committed partner in Bitnile.com.
“This will certainly be a challenge for me as well. It’s a tough situation jumping in a car in the middle of the season without any testing in what I believe to be the most competitive series in the world.
“Certainly, part of my motivation in saying ‘yes’ to Ed is the great challenge ahead.
“The last time I turned right driving an NTT IndyCar Series car was in October of 2021 [testing] with this team at Barber.
“However, I remain very confident in both my driving and technical abilities and believe by working with the talented people at ECR and Team Chevy, while representing Bitnile.com, we will make progress.
“I am going to do everything I can do to help the team achieve its long-term objectives.”
Carpenter himself, who drives the team’s third entry on ovals, hailed Hunter-Reay’s arrival.
“We need to improve our competitiveness and I wanted to add a fresh perspective from a driver like Ryan who has a massive amount of experience and success as well as a reputation as a team leader. I am excited to welcome Ryan to the team,” he said.
“We have worked together in the past as team-mates and he tested for ECR at Barber Motorsports Park in October 2021, where he made an immediate impact as we were able to qualify one of our cars on the pole following that test.
“I am confident that his experience and technical abilities will be an asset to ECR as we move forward toward our goals as a team.”
ECR continues with Bitnile.com backing on all three of its cars, the other being the #21 entry driven by Rinus VeeKay, despite Daly bringing that sponsor to the team.
Hunter-Reay already has one IndyCar start this year, finishing 11th at The Brickyard in an Indianapolis 500-only Dreyer & Reinbold Racing car.
The Road America event takes place on June 16-18.
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