Robert Wickens is a race winner as soon as once more.
The Canadian, whose rising profession got here to a sudden halt when he was paralysed in a scary NTT IndyCar Sequence wreck at Pocono in 2018, made his racing return within the 2022 IMSA Michelin Pilot Problem TCR with Bryan Herta Autosport. Within the fifth race of his IMSA rookie marketing campaign at Watkins Glen Worldwide on Saturday, Wickens and team-mate Mark Wilkins saved the KMW Motorsports Veloce of Roy Block and Tim Lewis Jr. at bay for his or her first win of the season.
Wickens, who began third within the TCR class, ran the primary hour earlier than switching out with Wilkins. His fellow Canadian confronted the brunt of Lewis’ costs within the closing minutes however the Herta workforce was finally profitable.
“First win with hand controls, it’s an incredible expertise,” mentioned Wickens in a video posted by Watkins Glen. “Mark did an incredible job. Lot of stress on the finish, however it was an superior consequence.
“[…] It nearly appears like a house race for us.”
To accomodate Wickens’ new driving strategies, his #33 Hyundai Elantra N TCR options hand controls through which the steering wheel incorporates paddles for shifting and accelerating in addition to a metallic ring that he pulls to brake. When Wilkins enters the automobile, a swap is flipped to allow foot pedals. In his IMSA début, he and Wilkins scored a podium by ending 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 workforce have been working diligently to get probably the most out of the automobile and to execute clear races each weekend. To get this win could be very satisfying.”