After being scratched from the entry list of IndyCar’s first virtual event Thursday, Robert Wickens now seems to be all set to compete in Saturday’s race at Watkins Glen International.
Wickens had tweeted Thursday evening that the company initially set to provide him with the steering wheel with dual-axis analog paddles and a hydraulic handbrake had backed out and asked if anyone in the Indianapolis area would be able to help.
Fortunately, it appears that several kind members of the racing community arrived to save the day.
As first reported by Robin Miller of RACER, Gary Bettenhausen’s twin sons, Cary and Todd; Jim Leo of Pit Fit; Max Papis; and Steve Fusek and SimXperience all pitched in to provide the necessary equipment for Wickens to race.
Cary, who works at Pit Fit, offered the simulator for Wickens to race on, and Todd is providing hardware to ensure Wickens can use hand controls to race.
Papis is overnighting a steering wheel for Wickens to use, and Fusek loaned the motor to power it.
— Max Papis (@maxpapis) March 27, 2020
So long as the equipment is set up and Wickens is ready to race by Saturday’s 4 p.m. ET Saturday, Wickens will be allowed to compete, IndyCar vice president of communications Mike Zizzo confirmed to NBCSports.com.
If Wickens is able to compete online, it will be his first de-facto IndyCar start since he suffered spinal injuries in an Aug. 19, 2018 crash at Pocono Raceway.
Wickens, who has been promised a ride by Arrow McLaren SP co-owner Sam Schmidt if he is able to recover and return to racing, has become one of the most popular drivers in IndyCar while documenting his rehabilitation.
Last week, he caused an inspirational stir on Twitter with a video doing 10 pushups alongside his dog, James (on National Puppy Day).