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SunEnergy1 Plotting Expanded IMSA Schedule

Kenny Habul eyeing up Lime Rock Park, Long Beach rounds in addition to MEC…

Photo: Phil Abbott/IMSA

SunEnergy1 Racing could contest additional IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races this year beyond its already confirmed Michelin Endurance Cup program according to team owner/driver Kenny Habul.

Habul is eyeing up expanding his schedule to include upcoming rounds at Lime Rock Park and Long Beach with the No. 75 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo, while also planning outings in several Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli enduros.

The U.S.-based Australian is making his first street course start in three years this weekend in Detroit, sharing the wheel of the GT Daytona class entry with Mikael Grenier.

“I love Detroit,” Habul told Sportscar365. “This is probably my favorite track. I love street circuits.

“I grew up on street circuits in Australia like the Surfers Paradise Indy race. I did well there in Formula Ford and Formula 3. This kind of reminds me of it a little bit.”

Habul’s last appearance at Detroit came in the 2018 event when he teamed with touring car and GT racing legend Bernd Schneider, who still holds the GTD race lap record from that weekend.

“Bernd didn’t take it that seriously because he was sort of semi-retired,” Habul explained of the 2018 event.

“He got passed by the yellow BMW and then he got mad. When he got mad he went bang and did a lap record!”

Habul is racing this weekend with a crew of familiar faces brought together with assistance and contacts from Mercedes-AMG and HWA.

Gradient Racing, which operated his Mercedes entry at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, is only contracted for the Endurance Cup races, where the team currently sits fourth in the GTD title race.

“AMG always helps,” said Habul. “We’re lucky. They send people from Germany and help me out. If it wasn’t for that it would probably be too hard for us to do it.”

While set to return under the leadership of the Andris Laivins-led crew at Watkins Glen, Habul has earmarked two additional sprint races that he could run prior to the season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans in November.

“If we can we might do Lime Rock and we might do some others,” he said. “Long Beach is probably another one, now that GT3 cars are back.”

Habul Commits to Indianapolis 8 Hour, Kyalami 9 Hour

In addition to his IMSA exploits, Habul has firmed up plans to run two of the three IGTC rounds this year, likely in the Pro-Am class alongside Grenier and Martin Konrad.

He explained that a full-season effort wasn’t in the cards due to the cancelation of the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour and Suzuka 10 Hours, which lessened the appeal of committing to all three remaining events.

“I will do Indy and South Africa,” he said. “I won’t do Spa, just because the points aren’t right this year with all of the races missed. I want to win it again. 

“Next year hopefully all of the races are on again and I’ll try next year.”

As was the case at the Brickyard last year, where Habul, Grenier and Konrad scored a podium finish in Pro-Am, Gradient will serve as the operators of the SunEnergy1 car.

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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