Robert Wickens Wins IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Drivers Championship
Canadian drivers, including Wickens, helped Hyundai and BHA lock in their fourth consecutive manufacturers' and team title in the series.
Canadian race car driver Robert Wickens clinched his first IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge (IMPC) Drivers' championship title last weekend, along with his teammate Harry Gottsacker. The pair brought home their No. 33 Elantra N TCR car in fourth place at the series finale at Road Atlanta. This was enough to maintain a 60-point lead over fellow Bryan Herta Autosports drivers Mark Wilkins and Mason Filippi in the No. 98 car. Not only is this a win for Hyundai, it's BHA's fifth consecutive drivers' championship title.
This marks the first championship for Wickens following a crash in IndyCar five years ago, which left him paralyzed from the waist down. His No. 33 car is fitted with a hand control system, one he first tested back in 2021. A year later, he notched his first win in the car at his hometown track of Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Wickens followed that up with another gold at Lime Park two weeks later. We sat down with Wickens last summer to talk the road to recovery, getting back into a race car, and the importance of mental health.
The 2023 championship run consisted of a series-record six second-place finishes for Wickens and Gottsacker.
More good news? The No. 33 car was running a special livery to celebrate Hyundai's Hope on Wheels 25th Anniversary. Hyundai pledged $100 for every lap led in the race; since the No. 98 held that position for every lap, that's $6,500 to the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
“This is very rewarding and the culmination of a lot of hard work,” said Wickens. “Big thanks to Hyundai and everyone out there for all of the support.” Teammate Gottsacker called the win "the highlight of my career thus far," adding "we've spent a lot of time working together to win this title and I am very pleased."
In addition to securing first- and second-place in the championship, BHA also slotted into sixth place with the No. 1 car of Taylor Hagler.
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Kyle began his automotive obsession before he even started school, courtesy of a remote control Porsche and various LEGO sets. He later studied advertising and graphic design at Humber College, which led him to writing about cars (both real and digital). He is now a proud member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), where he was the Journalist of the Year runner-up for 2021.
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