Tuesday January 12, 2021 by Eliane Gilain
Quebec driver Mikaël Grenier, who raced the entire season last season in GT World Challenge Europe, will be back behind the wheel of the Mercedes AMG GT3 Evo of the SunEnergy 1 team in two weeks during the prestigious race of 24 Hours of Daytona. This event will kick off the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar season and it promises to be hotly contested with an increase in entries in three of the four categories, including the GTD class in which the Mercedes that Grenier will drive will compete.
Mikaël Grenier is not his first participation in the event after taking part in the race with the same team in 2018, in addition to that year also doing the 12 Hours of Sebring (photo below). above) and the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen. « I am delighted to be back with SunEnergy 1 Racing for the 24 Hours of Daytona » indicates the driver from Quebec. Australian-born team owner Kenny Habul will of course be behind the wheel for the race, with Lucas Stolz and Raffaele Marciello rounding out the crew. The latter was on track last year in GT World Challenge Europe, like Grenier, in the AKKA ASP Team and he finished 2nd in the general classification. Stolz was with Haupt Racing Team and finished 4th in the Championship. He and Marciello are Mercedes representative drivers in GT3.
Grenier was able to get back into the spirit of North American competition during his visit to the 8 Hours of Indianapolis, as part of the Intercontinental GT Challenge series, with Kenny Habul last October. They had finished 9th in a spectacular event, especially because of the heavy rain showers early in the race.
Even if the competition is very tough in the GTD class of the IMSA, Mikaël says he is confident about his chances of aiming for victory: “in Daytona, when we lose a lap, we have the possibility of catching it up when there is has a safety car. My goal is to be on the leader’s lap at the 20th hour, if so I think we have a good chance of winning the event. I’m really happy to start my racing season at Daytona International Speedway, plus I think we have a winning crew ”.
However, the Quebecer does not have all good news to share today: “unfortunately, I will not be returning to the Emil Frey Racing team this season,” he explains. The unexpected news came a few days before Christmas. « My season was more or less confirmed since the event at Spa-Francorchamps since we had been successful this year and the team was well united » he adds, referring to his performance in GT World Challenge Europe with the ‘one of the Lamborghinis entered by the Swiss team Emil Frey.
« On December 22, I received an email telling me that we weren’t continuing together » relates Grenier. “Obviously I am disappointed with the situation, especially to receive this news by email, a few days before Christmas. However, with the pandemic, teams are looking for funding and must tighten budgets. It’s a shame to know it so late, but I’ve had 3 great years with the team, ”he concludes. For now, Mikaël has not materialized his plans for 2021 beyond his participation in the next 24 Hours of Daytona, but he hopes to learn more during the month of February.