Once a racer, always a racer! Less than three years after sustaining spinal cord injuries in his horrendous IndyCar crash at Pocono, Robert Wickens was back behind the wheel on Tuesday.
The Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver has spared no effort in the past couple of years to recover his mobility, and while his rehab efforts continue, the Canadian could not resist putting himself back on track - the race track, which he duly did at Mid-Ohio yesterday onboard a Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Veloster N TCR.
Wickens took over the 300hp front-wheel drive car, outfitted with special controls, currently raced by paraplegic driver Michael Johnson in the IMSA Michelin Pilot SportsCar Challenge.
"I’m appreciative of the opportunity Hyundai and Bryan Herta have provided, and a big thanks to Michael Johnson for this collaboration," said the Canadian after the test.
"It’s been a journey getting here and the experience on track today was incredibly rewarding. Working with the team, dialing the car in, gaining speed and improving the handling – it was awesome.
"The Veloster N TCR was a blast to drive. Once I got comfortable with the car, I began to understand what I need for my own accessibility to move forward."
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The 32-year-old racer has every intention of following through on Tuesday's test in the future.
"At 32, I have so much more of my life to live and I intend to live it to its fullest," Wickens said.
"That is what really drove me in my rehab phase, which is still happening every day. I just knew that if I didn’t go all in on my recovery, I’d be kicking myself for the rest of my life wondering ‘What if I’d tried harder? What if I didn’t do this? Or did do that?’
"This injury has been just a set-back, not necessarily a career-ender."