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Formula E Portland ePrix I

Ex-IndyCar racer Wickens makes single-seater return in Formula E test

Canadian driver is eyeing "elite level" motorsport after Formula E outing

Robert Wickens

Robert Wickens

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Robert Wickens says a return to “elite level” motorsport is the goal after driving a single-seater for the first time since his 2018 IndyCar crash which left him paralysed.

The Canadian driver completed 11 laps at the wheel of Formula E’s Gen3 machine at the Portland International Raceway ahead of the all-electric championship’s double-header this weekend.

The 35-year-old was given the opportunity after making contact with Formula E CEO Jeff Dodds last year as Wickens looks to re-establish his motorsport career through the use of hand controls.

The 30-minute session, which took place on Friday afternoon at the American circuit, comes six years since Wickens’ accident at Pocono where he suffered a serious spinal cord injury that has left him a paraplegic.

Speaking to Motorsport.com ahead of his run and about whether his ambition was to race in Formula E, Wickens said: “For me it’s not a matter of single-seaters, it’s elite level of motorsport [that I want to race], whether it’s IMSA, if it’s the World Endurance Championship or Formula E.

“I think it’s just racing against the best drivers in the world like I was doing in IndyCar and DTM prior to my accident. For me, that’s what I need to get back to.”

Robert Wickens drives the Gen3 car

Robert Wickens drives the Gen3 car

Photo by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

Wickens made a return to racing in 2022 in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series aboard a Bryan Herta Autosport factory-backed Hyundai TCR machine, winning the category last season.

Speaking after his Formula E outing, Wickens said: “It was only a few laps, but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and it left me wanting a lot more. Hopefully this will lead to more opportunities in the future and possibly a rookie test.”

Despite never having driven a Formula E car previously, Wickens came close to joining the championship when he was offered a drive for the 2018-19 season just a week after signing his IndyCar contract with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

He added: “It’s aways been a goal, but it’s been such a highly competitive paddock it’s been hard to get my foot in the door.

“Thankfully with the help of Jeff and Formula E, they helped open that door for me and provided me with an opening so now the goal is to get that rookie test and be evaluated as any other driver.”

Robert Wickens, zips up his race overalls

Robert Wickens, zips up his race overalls

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Robert Wickens

Robert Wickens

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

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