Robert Wickens will campaign a virtual Motul Pfaff Plaid Porsche RSR in the final three rounds of the IMSA iRacing Pro series, rekindling a connection with Pfaff established in his early days of racing.
Wickens, still recovering from devastating injuries suffered in an IndyCar race at Pocono in 2018, says joining Pfaff Motorsports for the Esports IMSA series is a full-circle experience:
“I’ve known of Pfaff Motorsports since I was 11 years old (and) racing in the Ron Fellows Karting Championship,” said Wickens. “Pfaff was influential in that series. Prize money for pole position and Driver of the Day awards (that Pfaff posted) was such a cool thing. It allowed so many young Canadians to gather and compete in the same series, and I gained a lot of great experience from it.
“It’s really cool nearly 20 years later to come full circle and work with Chris Pfaff and the entire team.”
Wickens’ simulator and iRacing experience has become a major facet of his rehab and motorsports career. He has of late focused on virtual platforms featuring special hand controls, staying sharp in anticipation of a return to “real” racing.
Using a SimCraft APEX1 simulator installed at home, Wickens has been working closely with the manufacturer to test and develop innovative hand controls that can be further developed by the Arrows McLaren SP IndyCar team, Arrows Electronics, and McLaren for real-world racing and driving applications.
“It’s a global team effort,” Wickens says. “On the IndyCar side of things, between Arrows Electronics and McLaren, we have some phenomenal resources. Especially for Arrows Electronics — they’re always thinking five years out and how they can better the world, so this is a great opportunity.”
For Pfaff Motorsports’ team manager Steve Bortolotti, Wickens’ determination was a major motivator to sign the driver for the remaining three rounds of the IMSA iRacing series.
“We’re very excited for Robert to represent Pfaff Motorsports and our partners for the remaining IMSA iRacing Pro Series events,” Bortolotti said. “We’ve admired his accomplishments both on and off the track for many years, so when the opportunity presented itself to work together in the iRacing series, it was a no-brainer.”
Bortolotti says Pfaff, which campaigns a Porsche GT3 R in real life, will provide engineering and strategy support to assist with chassis setup, as well as live race strategy during all three events.
Round 4 of the six-race IMSA iRacing Pro Series gets underway from virtual Road America this Thursday, May 14, starting at 6:00 p.m. EDT. Viewers can stream the main broadcast — and Robert Wickens’ individual feed — live on the official IMSA YouTube channel and http://www.twitch.tv/robertwickens, respectively.
For more info, visit http://www.IMSA.com.