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Tony Kanaan and Will Power pull out of all-star Surfers race

Tony Kanaan, Las Vegas, 2011Tony Kanaan and Will Power have both pulled out of this weekend's V8 Supercar round at Surfers Paradise in the wake of the tragic events at the IndyCar season finale in Las Vegas.

Kanaan, a close friend of Dan Wheldon who was killed in a multi-car pile-up in the Las Vegas race, told his Twitter followers that he would not be racing in the event that had attracted a number of guest stars.

"Sorry to all my Australian fans but due to the circumstances I've decided not to do the Surfers V8 race," he wrote.

Danish driver Allan Simonsen, who finished third with Greg Murphy at Bathurst, will replace the Brazilian.

Power hurt his back in the 15-car pile-up in Las Vegas and, after being examined at the nearby University Medical Centre, it was decided that he would be unable to compete this weekend. His place at FPR will be taken by Richard Lyons.

Speaking about his call-up, Lyons said: "I am really torn about racing as I literally heard the sad news about Dan's passing only an hour before I spoke with Tim [Edwards, FPR team principal].

"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 come to Surfers Paradise."

Wheldon himself was supposed to share a Toll Holden Racing Team Commodore with V8 Supercar champion James Courtney. A series statement read : "A decision on Wheldon's replacement and other other possible changes will be made in the next 24 to 48 hours."

Courtney said that he wanted to race in honour of his friend.

"Dan and I first met in the mid-90s and have been great friends ever since," said Courtney. "I'm sure I join with the entire V8 Supercar community and send our wishes to his family. We'll of course band together and make sure they are looked after.

"Being a father of a young family myself, I'm finding that aspect hard to deal with."

"This is what we do as a profession and an incident like this brings the dangers home," he added. "The first thing that I want to do is get out there and go racing for Dan."

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