As it’s Always Great News Hearing about Driver’s Perseverance…
Not sure if Y’all Heard the Great News! That Thee young Wicky’, aka Robert Wickens has returned to the cockpit this year, having just completed his first race for Bryan Herta Autosport’s (BHA) Hyundai elantra Touring Car team. As Wickens is part of BHA’s Michelin Pilot challenge series six car Armada, and Robert competes aboard the No. 33 with co-Driver Mark Wilkens.
As Wickens isn’t the lone Paraplegic racing for Bryan High Speed Hurdle’s Herta’s Touring Car Squad. Since Michael Johnson competes aboard the No. 54 BHA Hyundai Elantra N TCR Saloon, with both drivers using custom adapted Hand Controls, I.e.; Bespoke “Ringed” Steering wheels with Brake, throttle and Gearshift levers All controlled by Hands.
Having read it’s Wickens first race outing in 1,258 Gory Days! Which I reckon is some three and a half years, Yikes! Which makes it that much funnir that Robert was Disappointed over his Qualifying P7. As Wickens drove for 90 minutes during the four Hour Endurance race, moving up to third place, before Co-Driver Mark Wilkens took over with the pair finishing third overall! And Wickens being “Pummeled” on the podium after locking his wheelchair’s brakes in order to spray his bottle of Champagne with both hands. As the other five Drivers Ganged Up on him mercilessly, Gleefully “Hosing” Down Wickens over his return to the Podium! With Robert saying it was a bit Unfair since He couldn’t go anywhere…
Whilst the Daytona Beach News Journal had an interesting story on another of their BHA teammates. As A.J. Muss who drives the #2, represented the USA in Snowboarding at the 2018 Winter Olympics. And is a Mondo Adrenalin Junkie’, Jumping Out of Aeroplanes, Hot Air Balloons and Helicopters, Aye Karumba! With nearly some 500 Skydiving Jumps to his credit, including some 250 Wing Suit Jumps!
Fortunately Muss came out of a two weeks medically induced Coma after suffering from Post Operative High Altitude Sickness, having Flatlined for some 30 seconds when being rushed to Hospital! After routine surgery to repair his Separated Shoulder at the end of the 2014 season, after Crashing into a Snowboard Course’s Gate during Training!
Meanwhile, another former IndyCar and Sports Car Driver made his competitive return to Prototypes racing on Daytona’s High Banks after his arduous eight year physical rehabilitation from his Monstrous 2014 Rolex 24 Crash! As Memo Gidley raced in the IMSA Prototype Challenge Championship’s season opener January 21st aboard the #23 JDC Motorsports Duqueine D-08 LMP3 entry.
As Gidley stuck the #23 on Pole position before he and Co-Driver Alexander Koreiba ultimately finished third in the three hours race’s constantly changing weather conditions. As Estonia’s Tonis Kasemets Stormed back from being One lap Down to the No. 23 to rocketing back up from sixth during his final stint to take the lead with 22mins remaining.
Yet I found it Funny how I immediately recognized Kasemets name and mused to myself He was a Chump Carz’ Driver for Rocketsports. Which ironically I witnessed his Champ Car world Series Debut at Portland International Raceway Wayback in Gory 2006, Crikeys!
As Casemets made five Champ Cars start in ’06 after finishing runner-up to Charles Zwolsma jr. in the 2005 Toyota Atlantic series. As Zwolsman is another Shady character from Wayback, since I recall him and his Father Charles Zwolsman Sr. being in trouble with the Law! As “chuck Junior” was implicated in Money Laundering Charges in his native Netherlands in 2011, before ultimately being Cleared in 2016. While his Father was serving time in Jail before Dying in Twenty-eleven, making me now wonder if this had anything to do with Chuck Junior’s Charges going away?
Arse-sumedly I’ve got both Zwolsman Junior’ and Kasemets “John Handcock’s,” along with some 15-20 others on that long ago, still unframed Molson Indy Vancouver poster I trundled thru two years of Chump Carz’ Autographs session lines to get the 2006 Portland Champ Car Drivers signatures upon, which I’ve lamented about A very long time ago in another languishing No Fenders post. As I had to go back a second year to get le Hamburgular’s Autograph since He’d Snubbed me the year prior when following the lead of Whiney Bagz’, nee Bruno Junquiera! As how many Blind people do you think go to Drivers Autograph sessions, Eh? And why was I being told to Hurry Up…