Two-time and reigning IndyCar champion Will Power has decided to pull out of next week’s Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona due to ongoing medical issues for his wife Elizabeth.
Power was set to make his IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship debut at the wheel of Kenny Habul’s GTD-class SunEnergy1 Mercedes AMG GT3, sharing the ride with Habul, Axcil Jefferies and Fabian Schiller.
However, Power is standing down from the line-up as his wife Elizabeth has spent more than a week in hospital, including two days in ICU, and has undergone back surgery. The 2014 and ’22 IndyCar champion has elected, therefore, to stay at home to support her and their son Beau.
“It’s unfortunate timing, but after what Liz has been through and is still going through, my place is at her side until she can recover full mobility,” Power told Motorsport.com. “I have kept Kenny informed of the situation, and I can tell you he’s been absolutely supportive and totally understanding about the situation. He agrees I need to be there for Liz.
“I can just wish him, Axcil, Fabian and the whole team the best of luck at Daytona and I hope they win those Rolexes.”
SunEnergy1 is due to send out an official release tonight, although it’s unclear whether Habul has already nominated a replacement for Power.
Despite Power’s sad absence, IndyCar will remain well represented in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, across the classes. In GTP, Scott Dixon (Ganassi Cadillac V-LMDh), Colton Herta (BMW M Hybrid V8) and Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud (both Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-06). In LMP2, Scott McLaughlin and Josef Newgarden are part of Tower Motorsports’ line-up while Rinus VeeKay is in the TDS Racing entry and Devlin DeFrancesco will be competing for Rick Ware Racing. In GTD, Kyle Kirkwood will reprise his role as extra for Vasser Sullivan Lexus.
Former U.S. open-wheel drivers in the race include four-time Champ Car title winner Sebastien Bourdais, multiple race winners Ryan Briscoe and Mike Conway, as well as Ed Jones, Gabby Chaves, Jack Hawksworth, Jan Heylen, Franck Perera, Katherine Legge, and Jan Magnussen.