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Habul: Returning SunEnergy1 Can ‘Challenge for GTD Podium’

Kenny Habul relishing return to Daytona in Gradient-run SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo…

Photo: Mercedes-AMG

Kenny Habul believes the lineup he’s assembled has the chance to “challenge” for a GT Daytona class podium finish in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

The U.S.-based Australian will be making his first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship start in more than two years, joining Mercedes-AMG factory drivers Raffaele Marciello and Luca Stolz plus Canadian Mikael Grenier in SunEnergy1 Racing’s Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo.

It comes after a forced absence from the final two rounds of the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli due to COVID-19-related travel restrictions last year.

Habul revealed that he was due to contest the full IGTC season again although cut his season short following a third place Pro-Am class finish in the Indianapolis 8 Hour in October.

“To be honest, it will be great just to be back in the car and the Rolex 24-hour is a pretty cool place to be doing it,” said Habul, who is set for his fourth Rolex 24 start.

“Obviously it will be a little different this year with the COVID-19 restrictions in place, but we just have to be organized even more than normal and get on with our program.

“I feel we have one of the best driver line-ups in the field, certainly in the GT[D] category, and have the chance to challenge for a place on the podium.”

As was the case in his most recent outing at the Brickyard, Habul’s entry will again be run by Gradient Racing, with the Texas-based team not fielding its Acura NSX GT3 Evo in the twice-around-the-clock endurance classic.

Habul’s most recent Rolex 24 start came in 2018 where he finished eighth in the GTD class.

“The Rolex 24-hour really does attract core motorsport fans and while the experience for most of them will be a lot different this year, hopefully they can still enjoy the coverage and we all put on a hell of a show for them,” said Habul.

“Along with the Bathurst 12-hour in Australia, this event is one of my favorites of the year as a driver because of its history and what it throws at you year after year.

“It will be good to get the 59th Rolex event in the books this year and hopefully we can be back to normal with full crowds for the 60th event next year.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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