> Liam Talbot joins revised Pro-Am crew
Kenny Habul has withdrawn from this year’s CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa following an accident in Thursday’s Pre-Qualifying session.
The Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli championship leader was taken to hospital for X-rays and CT scans after extricating himself from SunEnergy1 Racing’s Mercedes-AMG, which came to a halt on the exit of Raidillon.
The US-based Australian was in visible discomfort after the accident, which has also forced the team to change chassis ahead of Saturday’s race. The new car is being prepared by HRT – which is running SunEnergy1’s entry this weekend – at its Nurburgring workshop just across the border in Germany.
The car failed to contest qualifying and will start the race from pitlane as a result of the chassis and engine switch.
2016’s 24 Hours of Spa Am class winner Liam Talbot will now join Martin Konrad, Chaz Mostert and Nicky Catsburg in a Pro-Am entry nominated to score IGTC manufacturer points on Mercedes-AMG’s behalf.
Brisbane native Talbot is scheduled to arrive about one hour before the race starts at 16:30 CEST tomorrow.
“To say it has been a tough day would be an understatement,” said Habul. “I am still working through the extent of my injury situation and that could take a few days.
“I have obviously not had a chance to look at the data, but the car didn’t feel right for any of us all session and unfortunately we paid the price.
“While I am extremely disappointed that I will not be driving this weekend, it was important for Chaz, Nicky and Marty to have a shot at winning the race. When we became aware that a replacement car was available, there was no question that we needed to have a “crack” at being in the race.
“I have to thank all my team for their efforts in turning things around so quickly and for committing straight up for the workload that they will face in the next three days. Things were made a little easier having my family on the ground around me at this race.”
Habul is also the joint IGTC Independent Cup championship leader with Jonathan Hui but has transferred his points-scoring status to co-driver Konrad for this weekend’s race. Stephen Grove and Antares Au, whose entries have both qualified for today’s Super Pole, complete the class.