Rick Ware Racing announced Monday the pullout of its No. 2 Multimatic/Riley from the LMP2 class for this weekend’s Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona.
Two of RWR’s four drivers slated for the Rolex 24 had left the team after the Roar before the Rolex test session two weeks ago.
“With regret, and due in large part to circumstances outside the team’s control regarding driver combination and the funding required to be competitive at the top of the class, RWR is withdrawing from this week’s Rolex 24 hours of Daytona,” Rick Ware Racing said in a release. “The team is not willing to compromise the overall season goals to show up with any intention other than to be prepared to come out on top.”
The team said it would be focusing on the Asian Le Mans Series, where it leads the points standings in the LMP2-AM category after a 1-2 finish in the most recent race.
Rick Ware Racing still is planning to field four cars in the Daytona 500 next month and three full-time cars in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2020. The team said it hopes to have a full-time entry in IMSA after the Rolex 24.
The withdrawal reduces the field for the 58th running of the Rolex 24 to 38 cars. Down from 47 entries last year, it already was the fewest number of starters in the race’s history (the previous low was 42 in 1962, its second year).
Robert Wickens has made massive steps since sustaining a spinal cord injury in an Aug. 19, 2018 crash at Pocono Raceway.
Since the accident, Wickens publicly has shared his recovery, often uploading videos of his physical rehabilitation on Twitter.
In his most recent update on Wednesday, Wickens shared a video of him walking on a treadmill. Fellow NTT IndyCar Series competitor Tony Kannan, who competes in triathlons during his spare time, also was visible running on the treadmill behind Wickens.
“When I am @TonyKannan [sic] age, I hope to run as fast as him…” Wickens tweeted. “Today was a good day!”
Wickens, who will turn 31 on March 13, first made his return to the IndyCar paddock in last year’s season opener in St. Petersburg. Since then, he’s made a return to the driver’s seat, piloting a specialized Acura NSX prior to the start of last year’s IndyCar race in his hometown of Toronto.
In September, Wickens fulfilled a vow to his wife Karli, by standing with her during their wedding. The new husband and wife also danced together during their reception.
Should Wickens fully recover to resume racing, Arrow McLaren SP co-owner Sam Schmidt has stated that the team’s No. 6 entry will be available for him to drive. Wickens continues to remain as a “driver coach and consultant” for the team.
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