The Las Vegas accident that caused the death of Dan Wheldon on Sunday night has presented an unexpected opportunity for Singapore-based Ulsterman Richard Lyons.
The former Nippon and Japanese Super GT champion from Hillsborough has been called into the Ford Performance team to replace Will Power in this weekend’s Amor All Gold Coast 600, a round of the Australian V8 Supercar series.
Power was also caught up in the Indycar crash in which Wheldon died and although not seriously injured he has been advised to withdraw from the Australian race at Surfers Paradise.
Lyons, who recently finished 13th in Australia’s big race, the Bathurst 1000, will take over Power’s place in the FPR Ford Falcon for Sunday’s race alongside Mark Winterbottom.
“I am really torn about racing as I literally heard the sad news about Dan’s passing only an hour or so before I got the call from Tim Edwards of FPR,” said Lyons.
“I’ve known Dan for about 15 years as we started off racing together as juniors.
“We lived nearby in England and we hung out whenever we could so it is with a heavy heart I go to Surfers Paradise.
“I’m sorry that Will can’t race but I’m also looking forward to working with such a seasoned professional as Mark Winterbottom and it is a great opportunity for me to work with FPR.”