By Josh Farmer, IndyCar Reporter
Toronto natives and longtime friends James Hinchcliffe and Robert Wickens will take hands at driving each other’s rides in a unique ride swap.
Wickens will drive Hinchcliffe’s No. 5 Arrow Honda for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports at the Sebring International Raceway on February 28. Hinchcliffe will pilot Wickens’ DTM No. 6 HWA AG Mercedes-AMG C63 at the Vallelunga Circuit located just outside of Rome on March 17.
The two have been planning a ride swap for many years now, and Hinchcliffe is excited that it has finally come together.
“We both had an interest in kind of sharing our series with each other, and we kept talking about it,” said Hinchcliffe, a four-time race winner in the Verizon IndyCar Series. “We decided we were going to try and take a swing at it, talked to all parties involved and amazingly it all worked out.”
Wickens has claimed five wins and four poles in five years of DTM competition. He is coming off a fourth-place finish in the season championship last year driving for the HWA Team.
“James and I have been friends for years and this ride swap is something we’ve wanted to do for a long time,” Wickens said. “We’ve seen some other drivers do it in the past – Formula One and NASCAR and all that – and we thought it would be a cool opportunity to do with DTM and INDYCAR. It wasn’t easy planning it and making everything work, but I’m really looking forward to the opportunity of driving his car.”
Wickens and Hinchcliffe raced against each other in Formula BMW and the Champ Car Atlantic Series and were teammates in the A1GP series for Team Canada in the 2007-08 season. While Hinchcliffe stayed in North America, Wickens made the leap to Europe with his sights set on Formula 1 and raced in British Formula 3, FIA Formula 2, GP3 and Formula Renault 3.5.
He went on to claim the 2011 Formula Renault 3.5 championship and tested a Formula 1 car for the Virgin Racing Team. An F1 ride never panned out and he has raced in DTM since 2012.