One of the better things about this business is that every so often, you get to report on something that’s really good. Here’s proof: The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Challenge made its annual stop at historic Watkins Glen, New York, last weekend and while the six-hour race for prototypes was the main attraction, it was a support division that ended up garnering most of the media attention. That’s because Robert Wickens – he’s the guy in the wheelchair – and Mark Wilkins scored the victory in the Michelin Pilot Challenge round at the Glen, sponsored by the nearby Tioga Downs casino and standardbred track.
Driving for Brian Herta Autosport, Wickens and Wilkins brought their production-based Hyundai Elantra N TCR home first in the two-hour timed race. Why was this victory so special? Because it was Wickens first trip to a podium since 2017, and his first win of any kind since suffering paralyzing spinal cord injuries in a 2018 IndyCar accident at Pocono. Wickens drives the Elantra using hand controls, and raced his way to his first win of 2022 in the Michelin Pilot Challenge that was dominated from the start by race-modified Elantra sedans.