Motor Racing-Wickens to return to cockpit after near-fatal crash

Robert Wickens, who was left partially paralyzed after a near-fatal crash in IndyCar, will get back into a racing car for the first time since his accident while competing in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Cup championship, the Canadian announced on Friday.

Wickens will team up with compatriot Mark Wilkins driving a Hyundai prepared by Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA) in the series’ season opener on January 28, a four-hour endurance race that is part of the weekend. end of the 24 Hours of Daytona race.

« It’s been a long, winding, hard road so far and the journey isn’t over but (I’m) thankful we can get down the road with a bit more speed, » Wickens said on Twitter. “Now let’s win. »

Wickens, a former Formula 1 test driver, suffered devastating spinal injuries and multiple broken arms and legs in a crash at Pocono Raceway in 2018 when his car took off, catapulted into the fence capture and disintegrated on the runway.

The purpose-built car he will now drive features a custom hand control system and a switch that disables the hand throttle when Wilkins takes control of the cockpit.

« Today is a monumental day for us as a team and as Robert Wickens fans, » BHA President Bryan Herta said in a statement. “We have followed Robert’s rehabilitation and marveled at his determination and dedication, as well as his many fans.

“To announce now that he will be returning to professional motorsport in one of our Hyundai Elantra N TCR cars is truly incredible. »

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