Mercedes protege Wickens secures popular first DTM win this weekend

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Formula One, is, for the moment, devoid of Canadian drivers. There hasn’t been one since Jacques Villeneuve’s departure midway through 2006. One who was on the doorstep a couple years ago with Marussia and probably deserves further consideration in the years to come is 24-year-old Robert Wickens, who took home his first DTM victory over the weekend.

“I’m overwhelmed with the kind words from all of you. Thank you for making this moment extra special! Thank you so much! Vielen Dank jeder!” Wickens tweeted Monday.

Wickens, a star in American open-wheel racing for a number of years, has since moved to Europe and has won the World Series by Renault championship in 2011. He shifted to DTM with Mercedes in 2012.

A column by Canadian reporter Jeff Pappone in the Toronto Globe and Mail described Wickens’ charge Sunday at the Nurburgring. Wickens needed to rely on guile and perform a number of spectacular passes on a track that shifted from full wet to full dry conditions.

Earlier in 2013, Wickens had been promoted to a win at the Norisring following Mattias Ekstrom’s exclusion. A later ruling from the German motorsport federation determined Ekstrom’s exclusion would stand, but everyone from second on back would be classified in their original positions. That left Wickens in an odd situation of having been classified as the first finisher, but not race winner.

Still, this one stuck, and serves notice of his potential and ability level as yet another single-seater driver having some success in tin-tops.

Below is an intro to Wickens via his sponsor Stihl, done at the start of the season.

Red Bull Air Race: Yoshi Muroya joins Sato as Japanese champs at Indy

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool
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Takuma Sato isn’t the only major Japanese athlete to take home top honors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Countryman Yoshihide Muroya joined him in that on Sunday after winning Red Bull Air Race at IMS, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the process.

Fittingly, the 101st Indianapolis 500 champion was there on site to join him in the celebration.

Muroya flew with a track-record run in the final and erased the four-point deficit to points leader Martin Sonka. The record run came after a disappointing qualifying effort of 11th in the 14-pilot field in the Master Class.

A day after the win, Muroya joined Sato in heading to Sato’s new Verizon IndyCar Series team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s, Indianapolis-based shop.

A few social posts from Muroya’s victory and the subsequent celebration are below.

CHECKING OUT EACH OTHER’S RIDES

ASTLES BREAKS THOUGH AS WELL

Muroya wasn’t alone among big winners at the Speedway. In the Challenger Class, Melanie Astles of France became the first woman to win a major race at IMS, and is the first female winner in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.

Nine women have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge) and Mann is the first woman to have been on the pole position at IMS, having done so for the Freedom 100 in 2010 in Indy Lights.

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool