Robert Wickens wins first race since injury

1 Mins read
Credit: Michael L. Levitt/LAT Images

Robert Wickens is a race winner once again.

The Canadian, whose rising career came to a sudden halt when he was paralysed in a scary NTT IndyCar Series wreck at Pocono in 2018, made his racing return in the 2022 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge TCR with Bryan Herta Autosport. In the fifth race of his IMSA rookie campaign at Watkins Glen International on Saturday, Wickens and team-mate Mark Wilkins kept the KMW Motorsports Veloce of Roy Block and Tim Lewis Jr. at bay for their first win of the season.

Wickens, who started third in the TCR class, ran the first hour before switching out with Wilkins. His fellow Canadian faced the brunt of Lewis’ charges in the closing minutes but the Herta team was ultimately successful.

“First win with hand controls, it’s an amazing experience,” said Wickens in a video posted by Watkins Glen. “Mark did a great job. Lot of pressure at the end, but it was an awesome result.

“[…] It almost feels like a home race for us.”

To accomodate Wickens’ new driving methods, his #33 Hyundai Elantra N TCR features hand controls in which the steering wheel contains paddles for shifting and accelerating as well as a metal ring that he pulls to brake. When Wilkins enters the car, a switch is flipped to enable foot pedals. In his IMSA début, he and Wilkins scored a podium by finishing third at Daytona.

The victory is Wickens’ first since DTM‘s Nürburgring Race #2 in 2017.

“Anytime I compete, I compete with the intent to win,” he commented. “Mark and I and the team have been working diligently to get the most out of the car and to execute clean races every weekend. To get this win is very satisfying.”

1840 posts

About author
Justin is neither a NASCAR nor off-road racer, but he has covered them for The Checkered Flag since 2018.
Related posts
24 Hours of Le MansFIA WECIMSA

Lola Cars Target Return To International Racing

2 Mins read
Till Bechtolsheimer is looking for an international sports car return with the newly acquired Lola Cars.
24 Hours of Le MansFIA WECIMSA

Cadillac Reveal First Images of LMDh

1 Mins read
Cadillac have become the third team to reveal images of their Hypercar, joining grids globally in 2023.
24 Hours of Le MansIMSA

Derani Partners with Jisbar for Sao Paulo Children's Hospital

2 Mins read
Pipo Derani has partnered with French Artist Jisbar to design a special 24 Hours of Le Mans helmet that will be auctioned for GRAACC Hospital in Brazil.