Wicks visits BMW Williams and Sauber Petronas
at the United States Grand Prix
Speedking Russ Wicks, America's fastest man on water, visited two top Formula One teams at the recent US Grand Prix at Indianapolis, September 26-28. He was invited to a photo shoot with Team Sauber Petronas, and also met with influential figures in the furtherance of his American Challenge project to break the outright water speed record.
In particular, Wicks was able to sit down for a lengthy discussion of the project with BMW Williams technical director Patrick Head. "Patrick showed great interest in the project, and a close understanding of the engineering and technology that will be involved," Wicks said. "He was able to impart some sound advice and gave me a valuable opportunity to see some of the telemetry that Williams uses on the HP-sponsored FW24."
Wicks also spent time in the Sauber Petronas garage with Sauber Petronas drivers Nick Heidfeld and Heinz-Harald Frentzen.
The Seattle racer broke one of the longest-standing records in the books when he raised the propeller-driven water speed record to 205.494 mph in June 2000 driving the Miss Freei unlimited hydroplane on Lake Washington. Wicks has also tested Indy Cars, so he had the unique distinction of being the only man at Indianapolis to have traveled at more than 200 mph on both land and water.
Having subsequently qualified in the famous Miss Budweiser to race unlimited hydroplanes, and made the recently published 'Guinness Book of Records 2003' for his efforts with Miss Freei, he now has his sights set on doubling his speed.
Wicks' new project, American Challenge, comprises a consortium of successful business leaders, innovative technical engineers, and motorsport professionals. They are focused on returning the outright world water speed record - which currently stands to Australian Ken Warby at 317.596 mph - to the United States to elevate American patriotism and showcase the country's leadership in aerospace and high technology while uniting it behind a dream.