Andretti Autosport has announced that Ryan Hunter-Reay will continue to race for the team through 2020, and will keep doing so with DHL as his primary sponsor.
While IndyCar may have lost one notable driver-sponsor combination Sunday following Target’s exit from the sport, this weekend also saw a four-year extension for another iconic duo: Ryan Hunter-Reay and shipping giant DHL.
Andretti Autosport announced at a press conference Sunday morning prior to the 2016 GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma that it had inked a contract extension with driver Hunter-Reay to keep him with the team through 2020, and also locked up DHL to stay on the No. 28 through that year.
Hunter-Reay’s contract was set to expire at the end of the 2017 season; the extension means he will have spent 11 seasons with Andretti Autosport, if he drives for the duration. The 35-year-old has scored 13 of his 16 total IndyCar victories as a member of the team.
“Our relationship with DHL grew out of a partnership that dates back to 2005,” Michael Andretti said Sunday. “To see this partnership develop and continue over a 15-year period, through 2020, is the result of hard work by both companies in support of DHL marketing, sales and B2B objectives.
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“It also reflects the strength of the Verizon IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500 properties.”
Mike Parra, chief executive of DHL Express America, told media members “The speed, reliability and dedication that Andretti Autosport, Ryan Hunter-Reay and the DHL IndyCar team exemplify are a mirror image of the qualities that enable DHL to be true to our motto of ‘Excellence, simply delivered.’
“[The sponsorship]’s an impactful way to engage our customers as well as employees with a world-class racing experience.”
“Since we first teamed up with Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay in 2011, the partnership has been one of the most powerful ways for us to connect our global brand with the public,” added Christine Nashick, DHL’s chief marketing officer. “We are thrilled to continue this partnership for a decade, and with Ryan as our brand ambassador.”
Hunter-Reay, who reached the 200-start milestone this season and scored a Top 5 finish at Sonoma, told reporters that “I couldn’t be happier about this announcement and the opportunity to continue with Andretti Autosport as an ambassador for DHL.”
“These next four years will take us to nearly a decade-long relationship with DHL and a full 11 years with the team,” he added. “We’ve won 13 races together, the Indy 500 and the IndyCar championship, and we’re going to do a lot more together.
“Over the years we have become more of a family than just a team and sponsor. I’m proud to represent this group and this brand and am looking forward to the milestones yet to come.”
Andretti had previously signed retail brand hhgregg to an extension to become a co-primary sponsor of Marco Andretti’s No. 27 Andretti Autosport Honda.
Sunday’s RHR deal means that two of the team’s four 2016 drivers are set and sponsored, while the futures of Carlos Munoz and Alexander Rossi remain undecided.