Robert Wickens, Michael Johnson, Bryan Herta Autosport, Hyundai, 2021

Wickens confirms interest in return to IndyCar after spinal injury


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Robert Wickens, who suffered spinal injuries in an IndyCar crash five years ago, has confirmed his interest in returning to the series.

The 33-year-old suffered spinal cord injuries when his car was launched into a barrier at the start of the IndyCar race at Pocono Raceway on August 19th, 2018.

Despite being confined to a wheelchair since then, Wickens returned to racing last year in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, driving a Hyundai Elantra run by Bryan Herta Autosport. He scored his first win in the TCR class at Watkins Glen in June.

Herta, a two-time CART IndyCar race-winner turned team owner, said on Thursday he was keen to field Wickens in the Indianapolis 500 providing they could find a solution for him to operate the car using hand controls. Herta’s team took Dan Wheldon to victory in the 2011 running of the race and repeated the success with Alexander Rossi five years later.

Robert Wickens, Schmidt Peterson, IndyCar, Pocono, 2018
Wickens suffered back injuries in 2018 Pocono crash
Wickens indicated he was open to the possibility in a post on social media. “Some news came out today about the potential for an Indy 500 entry in 2024,” he wrote. “My goal since my accident has always been to get back to the very top level of motorsport. Whether that will be IndyCar, IMSA or some other form of racing, only time will tell.”

“I’m incredibly thankful for what Hyundai has done for me in my road to recovery and am proud to wear their logo each weekend,” he added. “Bryan Herta has been in my corner since day 1 and I look forward to working with him to continue to challenge what’s possible.”

Wickens was making his 15th appearance as an IndyCar driver during his debut season as a full-time competitors when he suffered his crash. The series returned to the track the following year, after which the Pennsylvania superspeedway was dropped from the schedule.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 3 comments on “Wickens confirms interest in return to IndyCar after spinal injury”

    1. Return to Indy or not, Wicken’s journey since Pocono has been incredible. Good luck to him!

      1. Quite true Louie. It would be epic to see him have a shot at winning the 500 now, but regardless of whether it happens, he has already shown the world who he is and what he is able to do.

    2. I wish Robert all the best.
      I’ve always wondered if the cockpit departure time rules are suspended for drivers like him.

    Comments are closed.