Reigning NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion and former Indy 500 winner Will Power has withdrawn from next week’s Rolex 24 at Daytona due to family health reasons.
Power was set to make his Daytona debut with fellow American-based Australian Kenny Habul in the SunEnergy1 Racing Team’s Mercedes-AMG GT3 on January 28-29, but his wife Liz has had some complications after surgery this week and remains in hospital.
Power will be replaced by regular SunEnergy1 driver Luca Stolz, who will join Habul and fellow German ace Fabian Schiller and Zimbabwean Axcil Jeffries in the GT Daytona (GTD) class.
WHAT WILL POWER HAS TO SAY…..
“Liz (wife) has had a couple of complications after surgery this week and has a long recovery ahead of her,” said Power.
“Obviously her health is my priority and unfortunately that means I have had to put Daytona on hold.
“I have to thank Kenny (Habul) for the opportunity and his total understanding of our situation and the support he has shown.
“I will be cheering them on from North Carolina and hopefully we get another opportunity to do something together in the future.”
WHAT KENNY HABUL HAS TO SAY….
“In these situations, it really goes without saying, that family comes first,” said Habul.
“The first priority is Liz and her health and we wish her the fastest recovery possible.
“Given our history racing against each other in Formula Ford in Australia all those years ago, it was going to be cool to drive with Will at Daytona, but I am sure there will be plenty of opportunities for us to team-up in the future.
“We welcome Luca (Stolz) to our Daytona line-up, who is no stranger to the SunEnergy1 team.”
Stolz teamed with Habul and Jules Gounon to win last year’s Bathurst 12-hour.
SunEnergy1 became the 61st and final entry for the 24-hour sports car endurance race last week, which also doubles as the 2023 IMSA SportsCar Championship season-opener.
While Power was set to make his Daytona 24 debut next week, Habul will be having his sixth start in the American endurance classic, with the solar energy entrepreneur notching his best result of second in the GTD Class in 2021.
The Roar Before the 24 test will take place at Daytona International Speedway on January 20-22.
Following that, the 24 Hours of Daytona will take place at the same venue from January 28-29.