Robert Wickens Returns to Racing as New Member of Hyundai Team in IMSA

Robert Wickens Returns to Racing as New Member of Hyundai Team in IMSA

Bryan Herta Autosport Team Announcement:

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., Jan. 14, 2022 – Three-time International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) Michelin Pilot Challenge (IMPC) Champions, Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA) and Hyundai Motor North America, announced they have signed international racing star, Robert Wickens to co-drive the #33 Elantra N TCR racecar. Wickens will drive with fellow Canadian champion Mark Wilkins in the 2022 IMPC.

“Today is a monumental day for us as a team and as fans of Robert Wickens,” said Bryan Herta, president of BHA. “We have followed along with Robert’s rehabilitation and marveled at his determination and dedication, along with his many, many fans. To now announce that he will be making his professional motorsports return in one of our Hyundai Elantra N TCR cars is truly incredible. We thank Hyundai for their amazing support and helping us build a path for Robert to get back to where he belongs.”

In May of 2021, Wickens successfully evaluated the BHA #54 Hyundai Veloster N TCR using hand controls. It was his first time driving a race car after 989 days of rehabilitation following an IndyCar accident that left him paralyzed in 2018. Wickens will return to competition, taking the green flag at the IMPC season opener, a four-hour endurance race commencing the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona race weekend at Daytona International Speedway on Jan. 28.

“I’ve spent a lot of nights thinking and dreaming of this moment, and with the support from Bryan Herta and Hyundai it is all becoming a reality,” said Wickens. “I am hungrier now than I was before my accident to compete for wins again! I’m really looking forward to incorporating myself with the entire Bryan Herta Autosport team and finally get my first taste of the Hyundai Elantra N TCR.”

Wickens, a former Formula One test driver, took the American IndyCar scene by storm as a rookie in 2018. He won the pole position and led all but two laps in his first IndyCar race, went on to score four podium finishes and earned the Indy 500 Rookie of the Year honor, all in his first 12 IndyCar races in 2018. Race number 13 of his stellar rookie IndyCar season changed his life forever. Wickens was involved in an accident on lap 7 at Pocono Raceway, where he suffered a thoracic spinal fracture, spinal cord injury, neck fracture, tibia and fibula fractures to both legs, fractures in both hands, a fractured right forearm, fractured elbow, a concussion, four fractured ribs and a pulmonary contusion. Since the accident, Wickens’ perseverance and persistence has led to triumphant breakthroughs in his relentless regimes of physical rehabilitation and therapy that continues daily. Wickens and his team of therapists and trainers have become trailblazers in developing innovative technology and treatment methods for the spinal cord injury community.

The #33 Hyundai Elantra N TCR has been fitted with a custom hand-control system designed by BHA Technical Director David Brown and Development Technician Jonathan Gormley. The system features a custom metal ring connected to the brake pedal by a series of rods specifically tailored to the Elantra. The ring is attached behind the steering wheel that is pulled with fingers to activate the brake. Two linked throttle paddles and shift paddles, all attached behind the steering wheel, allow the driver to accelerate, shift and make steering inputs. The system also features a switch for Mark Wilkins when he takes over the cockpit in pitstops that deactivates the hand throttle. The Elantra will accelerate and brake using the traditional foot pedals when Wilkins is driving.

Wickens and Wilkins join the previously announced 2022 BHA driver lineup featuring six Elantra N TCR entries to defend the team’s trifecta of series titles, and they will vie for Hyundai’s third straight manufacturers title. The 2022 season kicks off with the season opening test days, the “Roar Before the Rolex 24,” at Daytona International Speedway, Jan. 21-23, 2022. Round one of the 2022 IMPC season takes place the following weekend with the BMW Endurance Challenge, a four-hour race during the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona race weekend on Friday, Jan. 28, 2022.

Kyle Marcelli signs with Infinity Autosport for the 2022 IMPC season.

Kyle Marcelli signs with Infinity Autosport for the 2022 IMPC season.

Photo By: Ray MacAloney
Kyle Marcelli announced today that he will be piloting the Infinity Autosport ( formerly known as Motorsport In Action )  No. 3 Toyota Supra GT4 in the 2022 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge GS class with co-driver Sheena Monk.
Kyle’s Announcement:
As you may have seen the teams official announcement yesterday, I will be piloting the No. 3 @jgwentworth @infinityautosport Toyota Supra GT4 in the 2022 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and co-driving with @sheenamonk_.
I look forward to racing the Toyota Supra – the car showed great potential throughout its debut in 2021. I also look forward to reuniting with some of my friends and former colleagues at TRD, whom I got to know during my time at the wheel of the Lexus RCF GT3 program.
Thanks to @waynetaylorracing for bringing me together with Sheena. She is determined and I know has big aspirations for herself in motorsport. I hope to share what knowledge and experience I have, and together challenge for race wins.
The newly branded Infinity Autosport has a proven track record of running up front and I expect much of the same from us this year.
2022 is shaping up to be a busy year and I am grateful to all those involved. I also want to thank Dean Martin and @kohrmotorsports for their trust in me the last four years. It will be strange to compete against them this year, and I wish them much success.
ST Racing To Take On The GT World Challenge America In 2022

ST Racing To Take On The GT World Challenge America In 2022

December 20, 2021.- ST Racing is excited to announce its maiden participation in the GT World Challenge Americain 2022.

The Canadian team will enter one of its newly acquired BMW M4 GT3s in the series’ Pro-Am category, and is set to compete across all thirteen rounds confirmed on the 2022 GT World Challenge America calendar. This marks the fifth year in succession that ST Racing will compete in an SRO-organized motor racing program.

Following an explorative year as ‘Samantha Tan Racing’ in 2016 – one year on from Samantha’s SRO competitive debut – ST Racing threw a significant gauntlet down in 2017 with a two-car, BMW M235iR line-up in the Pirelli World Challenge, stunning the paddock with its maiden TC-class win later that season. Victories continued to arrive thick and fast in SprintX GT Championship in 2018 before ST Racing, now helming two BMW M4 GT4s, took a commanding 1-2 in the West Pro-Am Cup standings. A championship success the Canadian team repeated the following season in the GT4 America Series’ SprintX division.

Now with a full season of endurance racing and six championship titles under its belt, and BMW Motorsport’s new flagship sports car readied for on-track battle, ST Racing is looking to continue its SRO affiliation and take on a brand-new challenge with GT World Challenge America.

Team co-owner Samantha Tan will be one of the team’s full-time drivers across the thirteen-round season over seven race weekends. 

Samantha Tan, co-owner and driver: “I am very excited to be returning to SRO in the top class of racing in GTWC. I grew up in racing with SRO, from TCA in 2015 all the way to GT3. To be competing with the all-new BMW M4 GT3 in the Pro-Am class feels like all the hard work has finally paid off, and I can’t thank everyone enough for their support over the past few years. This will be a season full of learning experiences, but I can’t wait to take on this new adventure and face the challenge head on.”

 Kenneth Tan, team owner: “We have always enjoyed our campaigns in SRO over the past few years in both TC and GT4. We have already registered and committed to all 13 rounds in the 2022 GT World Challenge season. With our crew now having five consecutive years of experience under their belt running our own cars in SRO, we are ready to take on the top level. Half the battle is knowing and understanding the sporting regulations as well as pit strategy and since that will not change with the move up to GT3 Pro-Am, I am cautiously optimistic we will have a good run. With the continued support from BMW’s technical team and mechanics, we are going to have a lot of fun and be competitive at the same time. I am very much looking forward to it!”

Alongside its SRO commitments, ST Racing will also return to the European-based 24H SERIES for its second full-season of 12 and 24-hour endurance racing, now in the top tier GT3 class. On its maiden program in 2021, ST Racing secured the 24H SERIES Overall Teams’ and Overall Drivers’ championships among four other titles.

Exclusive Autosport to make anticipated expansion to INDY Lights in 2022

Exclusive Autosport to make anticipated expansion to INDY Lights in 2022

Exclusive Autosport Release : 3/Nov/2021

2021 Indy Pro 2000 Team champions now linked from F1600 through to Indy Lights

SASKATOON, SK (November 3, 2021) – As the only open-wheel racing team in North America with its own internal development ladder system running from F1600 racing into the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires, Exclusive Autosport is thrilled to announce that after a hiatus due to Covid 19, it will expand once again in 2022 by making its debut in the top-level Indy Lights program. Coinciding with the anniversary of its tenth year of competition, the growing operation has acquired two brand new Dallara IL-15 chassis and plans to field two entries next season. The team was initially set to make its debut in the Indy Lights program in 2020 but, due to the season being canceled, the team made the decision to focus solely on their USF2000 and Indy Pro 2000 programs for an extended period. This resulted in the operation’s first Road to Indy Team Championship, winning the prestigious honor in the Indy Pro 2000 Championship this season. Armed with this momentum and taking the opportunity to leverage the growing momentum in the Indy Lights program, Exclusive Autosport is excited to finally complete its platform along the entire RTI ladder. The team has already signed its first Indy Lights driver for 2022, and this announcement will be made in the near future.

“We are really excited to get back into the Indy Lights series,” enthused Michael Duncalfe, Team Principal. “Even though we purchased two used IL15 cars previously, due to Covid, we were only able to use them for private testing. We will enter the 2022 season with two brand-new Dallara IL15 chassis, a very experienced crew, and an incredibly talented driver already signed. We are extremely optimistic about our chances in Indy Lights and will be building from the positive momentum of winning the Indy Pro 2000 Team Championship. We are really looking forward to the 2022 season getting underway.”

Using F1600 racing as its launching pad into the world of open-wheel competition, Exclusive Autosport is the winningest team in the Canadian Formula 1600 competition over the last six years, having scored 16 titles in the Toyo Tires F1600 Championship (Ontario) and the F1600 Canada (formerly Formula Tour in Quebec) programs. The team has also found success in the Formula Race Promotions F1600 Championship, winning the title in 2015. EA returned to American F1600 competition in 2021 scoring four wins and finishing third in the championship. The Canadian-owned operation has grown steadily over the last five years, having expanded from their multi-time championship-winning F1600 team in 2017 when they purchased and ran four Tatuus USF-17 cars to debut in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship. Expansion continued in 2018 when they added their Indy Pro 2000 Championship program, and since then, the team has continued to be one of the top running programs to compete within the RTI series, racking up a combined 19 wins, 48 podiums, 16 poles, and one team championship.

In 2022, Exclusive Autosport will become the only team with its own driver development ladder that reaches from F1600 through to Indy Lights, providing a direct road for a driver with the quest to one day run in the NTT INDYCAR Series.

“INDYCAR is pleased to see Exclusive Autosport make the move to Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires,” said Levi Jones, Director of Indy Lights. “Seeing an established team use the Road to Indy platform to expand their reach is tremendous. It is a team with a championship pedigree and a program that will push everyone in the 2022 championship. We look forward to working with Michael and his group as we continue to elevate Indy Lights.”

 

About Exclusive Autosport:

Exclusive Autosport (EA) is a professional racing team dedicated to the success of its drivers in open-wheel formula car competition in North America. EA operates teams on the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires, in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship and the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and will expand to Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires in 2022. The team also competes in the F1600 Championship Series in the US, and in F1600 competition in Ontario, Quebec and Eastern America to develop young racers for advancement up their internal ladder system. Exclusive Autosport’s drivers have secured numerous championships, race wins, podium finishes and pole positions, as well as Rookie of the Year awards. Exclusive Management Inc., the team’s parent company, has enjoyed great success in both open-wheel and sports car racing and has worked with standout drivers. Their mission is to develop drivers and prepare them for the upper echelons of professional motorsports.

Stats:

 F1600:

Wins – 138

Podiums – 291

Poles – 122

Championships – 20

USF2000:

Wins – 7

Podiums – 18

Poles – 7

Indy Pro 2000:

Wins – 9

Podiums – 30

Poles – 12

Championships – 1

 

Exclusive Autosport Wins The 2021 INDY PRO 2000 Team Championship

Exclusive Autosport Wins The 2021 INDY PRO 2000 Team Championship

LEXINGTON, OH (October 3, 2021) – Exclusive Autosport returned to the 2.258-mile, 13-turn purpose-built road course of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires season finale this past weekend. The team added its USF2000 race winner Christian Brooks as a third driver to the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires line-up, ensuring their success of scoring the 2021 Team Championship while also giving the talented American his first taste of the series before a planned graduation in 2022. Over the finale weekend, Russian Artem Petrov and American Braden Eves added two more podiums to the team’s 2021 statistics with a second and a third-place finish in Race 1. Brooks was impressive all weekend, scoring a pair of top-five finishes, adding welcomed assistance in securing the 2021 Team Championship. The final tally of success for Exclusive Autosport included with five wins and 18 podiums.

 

“I am incredibly proud of the Exclusive Autosport team,” said Michael Duncalfe, Team Principal. “To win the Indy Pro 2000 Team Championship is truly an honor. The series is so competitive and we have a lot to hold our head high over including Braden finishing second in the driver championship and Artem finishing 4th in the drivers’ championship. Everyone worked incredibly hard this past year. I have the pleasure of working with an amazing, dedicated, and talented group under the EA tent.  We couldn’t have achieved this without each and every member of the Exclusive Autosport team, as well as the drivers and families who believed in us. Thank you to everyone involved in the EA program, as well as our team partner Cambridge Global Payments for their support this year.”

The weekend event got underway on Friday afternoon with the lone practice session of the weekend. Petrov topped the charts to provide the team with the data it needed to pursue a winning weekend. On Saturday morning, the drivers took part in the qualifying session to set the field for Race 1. All three drivers flirted with top-five starting positions, but it was Petrov who stepped to the forefront to grab his first pole of the season. Eves and Brooks lined-up right behind him in third and fifth. Later in the afternoon, the opening race of the doubleheader got started and Petrov immediately jumped to the lead, creating a comfortable gap to second. However, an issue midway through the race slowed his pace and forced him to surrender the lead. Despite the problem, Artem rallied back to take second at the checkered flag. Eves and Brooks fought hard throughout the entire race, coming out of spirited battles to finish where they started in third and fifth, respectively.

Sunday started bright and early with an extremely wet track for Qualifying 2. The three EA drivers topped the charts the entire session, just to get pipped at the very end. Petrov would line up in third, with Brooks in fourth and Eves in fifth. In the final race of the year, Petrov quickly went to the lead but lost grip on the opening lap in turn four, going off course to bring out a full-course caution. Artem was extricated from the gravel trap quickly and restarted without losing a lap, although he was well behind the tail of the field for the restart. Another caution gave him the opportunity to get back in the fight, and he worked forward steadily into third. On the final lap, Artem slipped to fourth, where he would officially finish. Brooks delivered yet another stellar performance to garner a second top-five finish in his Indy Pro 2000 debut weekend. Like Petrov, Eves paced the field early in the race after Artem went off, but as the conditions changed through the race as the rain had stopped, a new shower coming through the facility caught Braden off-guard as the first driver through the now-wet section of the track. Eves went off-track and came back on in second, but another trip to the grass in the treacherous conditions left him with a 10th place result.

Eves had already secured second in the championship prior to taking the green flag, while Petrov’s recovering moved him up a spot in the standings to finish the year in fourth overall. The combined efforts of the drivers delivered Exclusive Autosport with their first Road to Indy Team Championship, the most coveted honors in the paddock.