Former IndyCar driver Robert Wickens will make his racing return in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge (IMPC), driving a Hyundai Elantra for Bryan Herta Autosport.
Wickens will race for the first time since suffering serious injuries in a shocking accident during an IndyCar race in Pocono in 2018. The accident left Wickens with a spinal cord injury and paralysis, meaning he is unable to race using conventional pedal controls.
Driving for Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA), Wickens’s Hyundai will feature custom hand control systems for throttle and braking designed by BHA technical director David Brown and development technician Jonathan Gormley. Special rings attached to the wheel can be pulled by hand to activate the brake, along with a throttle paddle for acceleration. Wickens had previously tested the modified Elantra touring car last year.
Wickens will race alongside team mate Mark Wilkins in the number 33 Elantra in the IMPC, starting with the 24 Hours of Daytona on January 29. The 31-year-old Canadian said the announcement of his return to racing is one he had been “dreaming of” during his rehabilitation.
“I’ve spent a lot of nights thinking and dreaming of this moment, and with the support from Bryan Herta and Hyundai it is all becoming a reality,” said Wickens. “I am hungrier now than I was before my accident to compete for wins again. I’m really looking forward to incorporating myself with the entire Bryan Herta Autosport team and finally get my first taste of the Hyundai Elantra N TCR.”
BHA team president Bryan Herta hailed the announcement of Wickens’s return as a “monumental day for us as a team and as fans of Robert Wickens.”
“We have followed along with Robert’s rehabilitation and marveled at his determination and dedication, along with his many, many fans,” Herta said.
“To now announce that he will be making his professional motorsports return in one of our Hyundai Elantra N TCR cars is truly incredible. We thank Hyundai for their amazing support and helping us build a path for Robert to get back to where he belongs.”
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