Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver Robert Wickens says that he has dreamt about getting back in the drivers seat of a car for a long time. The Canadian will do just that on Sunday when he drives the parade lap at his home NTT IndyCar Series race, the Honda Indy Toronto in an adapted Acura NSX.
Speaking in Toronto on Friday, Wickens said:
“I’ve had this dream for so long to get back, and this was the target to get the car ready for Toronto. “And it was only fitting that it’s the Honda Indy of Toronto, and it’s my home race. It was kind of the perfect fit.”
Wickens got behind the wheel of the NSX for the first time on Wednesday where he completed 90 minutes of practice laps as he got used to the hand controls at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ontario before getting some laps in on the Honda Indy Toronto circuit.
Wickens went on to say:
It’s amazing,”. “I was able to get a couple practice laps in yesterday (Thursday), and it put a huge smile on my face. Just to think how fortunate I am, one, to have such great partners around me to make this happen. Racing is my dream, it’s my passion, it’s all I want to do. And to have a company like Arrow to be so hands-on building the hand controls and then a company like Honda that somehow trusts me with a very expensive car is — I still don’t know why. But I actually bent a wheel already.
Wickens will be joined on Sunday by his fiance Carli Woods and Wickens joked that he will just take off after his parade lap:
I will neither confirm nor deny,” Wickens said, smiling. “I’m trying to figure out what that penalty would be if I just kept going.
Chairman, president and CEO of Arrow Global Mike Long said:
There was an interesting piece of this that I think everybody in the world was wondering is will Robert go fast again,” “I will tell you I don’t think there’s any question. We wanted to start this now with Robert so we can be a part of his rehab together with our friends at Honda and get Robbie back to racing because that’s what he wants, and we’re going to be there to support that effort all the way.
Ted Klaus from Honda Performance Development said:
But I do hope that as Robbie really enjoys re-learning how to control the car with his hands, I’m sure he’s going to realize he’s just using different parts of his brain and his body with this man-machine, woman-machine challenge, it’s just amazing.
Wickens concluded by saying:
It’s just been a whirlwind. “It’s been a big eye-opener for me, this whole injury. I have a whole new perspective on life, which I guess there’s good to take away from that,. But the biggest thing for me is when I was in rehab every single day, it was the support that I had from my racing partners, from my family, from Karli, from all the fans, from everyone that kind of was getting me there to the gym the next day.
“And I was always — when I was at rehab, I was just patient 31265, and then you get to become friends with these patients and you hear their story, and then like I get back to my place at the end of the day and I kind of think like, ‘Man, I’m so lucky that I have such great support everywhere.’ If I’m having a bad day, just all my fans can just come and pick me up where everyone else can easily get into this big spiral and get into some depression and everything.