CAN: Robert Wickens OPCS Sunset summary

Wickens completes first stock car race! Robert Wickens makes his presence felt in Ontario Pro Challenge Series opener SUNSET SPEEDWAY - In the Shift/Cameron Motorsport/Mobil1/Corby Concepts Ford Taurus with the number bearing his age, 15,...

Wickens completes first stock car race!
Robert Wickens makes his presence felt in Ontario Pro Challenge Series opener

SUNSET SPEEDWAY - In the Shift/Cameron Motorsport/Mobil1/Corby Concepts Ford Taurus with the number bearing his age, 15, Guelph, Ontario's Robert Wickens successfully completed his first stock car race at Sunset Speedway on May 15.

The Ontario Pro Challenge Series, an Ontario based short track oval series for 3/4 scale, 140-hp motorcycle engine powered Nextel Cup styled stock cars. The 2004 series opener was the site of the first wheel to wheel stock car competition that the teenager has experienced. Wickens had two eighth place finishes in the heats and finished ninth in the feature.

"It is way different from karting," the excited youth said. "We had some issues that kept us from doing better, but now we have those solved and I am looking forward to the next race in two weeks. My kart has 40 horsepower, our Shift/Cameron Motorsports Ford Taurus has 140, that's a big difference. Dealing with suspension and racing on ovals is a big change for me, but it was fun. The racing that was going on right ahead of me looked great. Soon I'll be a part of it!"

Wickens' problem was oil getting on his right rear tire from a leaking seal, but once that was solved, his true speed came out. "In the feature, I was able to get up there and challenge for a better position. I need to learn to be more consistent, but I think overall for the first night, I am happy just to get through it with the Shift/Cameron Motorsports Taurus in one piece."

Robert is not the only one new to stock car racing. Brother Trevor, who tunes Robert's Hurricane Racing ICC shifter kart, was also at Sunset to help with the setup of the car, along with Robert's father Tim. "We're all new to this type of racing, but the series has been very helpful in getting us up to speed quickly. I think this will be a good year for us. We will learn a lot that will help me in years to come," Wickens said.

-bond-

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Series Stock car
Drivers Robert Wickens