Over three years after an IndyCar crash at Pocono left him with severe spinal injuries, Robert Wickens is set to return to racing.
The 32-year-old Canadian is set to undertake a full season in IMSA’s Michelin Pilot Challenge with a specially adapted Hyundai Elantra N TCR entered by Bryan Herta Autosport.
The former Schmidt Peterson Motorsports IndyCar charger has spared no effort in the past three years to recover his mobility, and while his rehab efforts continue, Wickens could not resist a return to professional racing.
"I feel like we’re embarking on a brand-new chapter of my story," Wickens said on Friday during a news conference.
"You know, I’m not here just to play around. I’m here to win races and win championships for Bryan Herta Autosport and Hyundai.
"So I think it’s going to be a very steep learning curve. But I think we’re all ready for the challenge. I am hungrier now than I was before my accident to compete for wins again!"
It’s been a long, winding, and difficult road to this point and the journey is not over, but thankful we’ll be able to move down the road with a bit more speed!
Now, let’s go win. pic.twitter.com/hoPyoorJTO
— Robert Wickens (@robertwickens) January 14, 2022
Wickens' Hyundai TCR contender that he'll share in the series with fellow Canadian Mark Wilkins has been fitted with a customized hand-control system devised by BHA's technical director and former Williams F1 race engineer David Brown.
Wickens will kick off his 2022 campaign in IMSA’s Michelin Pilot Challenge at the end of the month at Daytona.
"Wickens’ perseverance and persistence has led to triumphant breakthroughs in his relentless regimes of physical rehabilitation and therapy that continues daily," commented Hyundai in a statement.
"Wickens and his team of therapists and trainers have become trailblazers in developing innovative technology and treatment methods for the spinal cord injury community."