Reigning IndyCar champion Will Power has abandoned the 24 Hours of Daytona citing family health issues.
Power was due to make his debut with fellow Australian Kenny Habul and his SunEnergy1 team at the American classic but will instead focus on his wife Liz’s recovery as she recovers from surgery.
Luca Stolz replaced Power, with whom Habul was regularly successful, and won the Bathurst 12 for last year’s Intercontinental GT Challenge opener. He will compete in the GTD class with Fabian Schiller and Axcil Jeffries in the Mercedes-AMG GT3.
â€œLiz had some post-op complications this week and has a long recovery ahead of her,â€ said Power.Â
“Obviously her health is my priority and unfortunately that means I’ve had to put Daytona on hold.
â€œI have to thank Kenny (Habul) for the opportunity and his full understanding of our situation and the support he has shown. I’ll be cheering for them from North Carolina and hopefully we’ll get another opportunity to do something together in the future.”
Habul understands that family comes first and looks forward to working with Power again in the future.
â€œIn situations like this, it goes without saying that family comes first. First priority is Liz and her health and we wish her the speediest recovery,” Habul said.
“Given our history of competing in Formula Ford in Australia all those years ago, it would be cool to race with Will at Daytona, but I’m sure there will be a lot of opportunities for us, in the US to work together future.â€
Power will begin defending his second IndyCar title after a sensational year in which he broke Mario Andretti’s all-time pole record and won that first IndyCar crown since his triumph in 2014.
The first IndyCar round will take place on March 5th in Florida on the streets of St. Petersburg.
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