INDIANAPOLIS — Any day is a good day to be racing in Indianapolis, but for Robert Wickens, this one means a little bit more.
“Living in Indianapolis, and the IMS, is always special. It’s just awesome to get the suit back on and go through Gasoline Alley,” Wickens said.
It's been a long process for Wickens to return to racing following his near-fatal racing accident suffered in August 2018.
The accident left him paralyzed, but Hyundai has been behind the designs of special hand controls that have allowed Wickens to get back to racing.
“It’s obviously unique. It’s a very different car from the last car I drove here, but with my work staying involved in IndyCar and Arrow McLaren, I feel like I still know all the tips and tricks around here,” Wickens said.
Wickens made a single start in the Indy 500, winning Rookie of the Year honors in 2018 with a 9th place finish while driving for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
He’ll be back behind the wheel driving for Hyundai TCR in the Michelin Pilot Challenge at Battle of the Bricks this weekend.
Wickens has spent more than two years learning the new hand controls in his car.
“I drove with my feet for 20-odd years before my accident, so I’m still learning my craft,” Wickens said. “I’m still learning how to properly trail brake again and get that feeling that I tuned so well from such a young age.”
Wickens and teammate Harry Gottsacker IV are leading the points in their class – a good result here in Indianapolis will get them one step closer to a championship.
“Working with Robert’s been a pleasure so far this year. I feel like we work together really well, comparing notes and data and stuff like that. We’ve clicked and it’s been good so far,” Gottsacker said.
For Wickens, this is another big milestone in his own amazing journey.
“It’s special. It’s hard to explain without experiencing it yourself. Going through the tunnel and gate two, coming up to see the museum – it’s immaculate,” Wickens said.
The four-hour IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge will be held on Saturday at 1:10 p.m.
For more information on Battle on the Bricks or to purchase tickets, click here.