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Justin Wilson

Justin Boyd Wilson (31 July 1978 – 24 August 2015) was a British professional open-wheel racing driver. At the time of his death, Wilson was competing part-time in the IndyCar Series, driving the No. 25 Honda for Andretti Autosport. Earlier, he competed in the Champ Car series from 2004 to 2007, scoring four wins. He also competed in Formula One in the 2003 season with Minardi and Jaguar and was the winner of the 2001 International Formula 3000 championship. He was also a winner of the 24 Hours of Daytona.

On 23 August 2015, Wilson suffered a traumatic brain injury in an accident at the Pocono Raceway, which caused his death the following day. Wilson was struck in the head by large debris from the crash of race leader Sage Karam's car.

Racing career Edit

Early career (to 2002) Edit

Brought up in the tiny hamlet of Woodall, near Harthill, South Yorkshire, Wilson began racing karts in 1987. During the mid 1990s, he spent several years in Formula Vauxhall with Paul Stewart Racing before earning international attention when he won the inaugural Formula Palmer Audi championship with nine race wins. In 1998, he was a finalist in the McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award. A year later, he graduated to the FIA International Formula 3000 championship and won the championship in 2001, setting a record winning margin in the process.

Despite his success, his height proved a liability, and prevented him from securing a Formula One drive for 2002. He found a drive in the Telefónica World Series by Nissan, where he continued his winning ways with race victories at Interlagos and Valencia.

Wilson also tested for the Minardi Formula One team, but although regular driver Alex Yoongwas replaced for two rounds, Wilson was unable to race the car due to his height.

Formula One (2003) Edit

For 2003, Minardi designed the car around Wilson's 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) frame and signed him up to race.[5] The car was off the pace but Wilson performed favourably against his more experienced teammate, Jos Verstappen. He switched to Jaguar Racing to replace Antônio Pizzonia for the last five races of the season, and scored his first championship point at the United States Grand Prix. However, Wilson did not retain his position with Jaguar Racing, because Ford was not prepared to pour unlimited funds into Formula One and advised the team that they would have to take on a paying driver. Christian Klien, who was funded by Austrian drink company Red Bull, and who had tested for Jaguar in November 2003, was able to bring sponsorship and thus secure a driver's seat for 2004.

Champ Car (2004 to 2007) Edit

At the beginning of 2004, Wilson joined the Champ Car World Series with Mi-Jack Conquest Racing. He qualified as high as second in his rookie season and finished the year in 11th place in the standings. In addition to Champ Cars, Wilson also raced at the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race, sharing the Racing for Holland Dome-Judd S101 with Tom Coronel and Ralph Firman, personally setting the fifth fastest lap.

In 2005, Wilson moved to the RuSPORT team to partner with A. J. Allmendinger. He won his first Champ Car race at Toronto. Continuing with his success in Canada, Wilson finished third at Montreal, then rounded off the year with a victory from pole in the final race of the season at the Mexico City circuit. Wilson finished the season in third place in the drivers' standings behind series champion Sébastien Bourdais and second-placed Oriol Servia.

Wilson stayed with RuSPORT for the 2006 season, and finished second in the series. On 19 October 2006, in the Friday qualifying for the Surfers Paradise race, Wilson hit a small barrier of tyres in a chicane. When the front wheels lurched sideways after the impact, the steering wheel spun sharply in Wilson's hands and broke a small bone in his right wrist.

For 2007, Wilson was signed on a multi-year contract with RSPORTS, a merger of his former team and Rocketsports. He finished second in the championship. Preceding the European rounds of the championship (Zolder, Belgium and Assen, Holland), RSPORTS announced their separation back into RuSport and Rocketsports.

IndyCar (2008–2015) Edit

Wilson signed for reigning ChampCar champions Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing for 2008, replacing Sébastien Bourdais. The ChampCar series merged with the Indy Racing League for 2008, meaning that Wilson and team-mate Graham Rahal competed in the IndyCar Series. Wilson qualified on pole for the Long Beach Grand Prix and second at Edmonton. Wilson won his first race for NHLR and took his maiden IndyCar Series win at the Detroit Indy Grand Prix in late August, moving up from fourth at the start to second through pitstops before gaining the lead when Hélio Castroneves was penalised for blocking. However, like many drivers switching from the road and street course based Champ Car series, he was not yet competitive in the series' oval races.

At the end of the points scoring races of the season Wilson placed 11th in the overall standings and finished second in the Bombardier Rookie of the Year standings. He missed out by just four points from Hideki Mutoh of the long established IndyCar Series Andretti Green Racing team, he was the best placed of the so-called transition drivers without any significant oval racing history. Oriol Servia finished higher but had enough oval racing experience in both the IRL and Champ Car to not be deemed a rookie.

Wilson agreed to drive for Dale Coyne Racing in 2009, after losing his ride at Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing. Wilson qualified second for the 2009 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg to start the season, which is Coyne's best qualifying result in the team's 23-year history. He finished the race in third position, set the fastest lap of the race and led the most laps. Wilson was leading before a late-race caution came out; eventual race winner Ryan Briscoepassed him on the restart.

On 5 July 2009 Wilson scored his second IndyCar Series win, and Dale Coyne's first victory as an owner in his team's 23-year history. At the 2009 Camping World Grand Prix at the Glen, Wilson again qualified second, only behind Briscoe, who set a new track record twice over the course of qualifying. Because Dario Franchitti crashed early in the final round of qualifying, Wilson was able to save a set of Firestone's alternate-compound tires, which are designed to make the car faster, but also wear out more quickly. Wilson was the fastest driver in final practice. In the race itself, Wilson attempted to pass Briscoe on the second lap, but was unsuccessful; two laps later, he made the pass stick, leading the first of 49 laps he spent in front. With six laps remaining in the 60-lap event, a full-course caution came out, resulting in the same setup as St. Petersburg: Wilson leading late, with Briscoe right behind him. This time, however, Wilson retained the lead, stretching it to 4.9 seconds by the end of the race.

Wilson took part in the 2010 running of the Daytona 24 Hours race. This time he was racing for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates in the Telmex/Target sponsored 01 Riley BMWprototype. Wilson shared the car with Max Papis, Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas, the car finished the race on the lead lap in second place. During the race in an interview with Speed TV Wilson confirmed he was still working on a drive in the 2010 IndyCar season, saying he hoped to have a deal arranged "in the next few weeks".

On 2 February 2010 it was announced that Wilson would be joining Dreyer & Reinbold Racing for the 2010 IndyCar season, he drove the No. 22 Z-Line Designs sponsored car and was partnered by Mike Conway. For the opening race in Brazil they were joined by Ana Beatriz. For the 94th running of the Indianapolis 500 the team was expanded to run four cars for Tomas Scheckter and Ana Beatriz. Wilson begun the season well in the road and street courses, often running near the front, finishing second in both the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and the Long Beach Grand Prix. He ran in the lead toward the end of the Indy 500 setting the fastest out lap of all the drivers during the race.

After Conway was sidelined for an accident in the closing stages of the Indy 500, Wilson was partnered by Tomas Scheckter, Graham Rahal and Paul Tracy. It was announced that he would be joined by J. R. Hildebrand who made his IndyCar debut at Mid-Ohio. Wilson won the pole in the Toronto event but fell to seventh in the race. Wilson finished the season eleventh in points.

On 11 November 2010 Dreyer & Reinbold announced that Wilson would return for a second season.[19] Wilson was having a difficult season, but had just captured a season best finish of fifth at Edmonton when he injured his back when his car was launched into the air after running off course at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course during a practice session. He was replaced by four different drivers in the car for the remaining races.

In January 2012 Dale Coyne Racing revealed that they had signed Wilson for the 2012 season. Wilson captured the team's first and his first oval victory at Texas Motor Speedway, although unapproved bodywork was found on Wilson's car during post-race inspection, the win was allowed to stand, with Wilson being docked five points and the team being fined. The result would be by far his best of the season and he finished fifteenth in points. In 2013Wilson returned to the team. He finished on the podium four times and finished sixth in the championship, his best IndyCar series points result since the merger with Champ Car. Wilson also captured his best career Indy 500 finish of fifth in the 2013 race. In 2014 Wilson again returned to the Coyne team, but failed to reach the podium and finished fifteenth in points.

Wilson was a free agent at the beginning of the 2015 IndyCar Series season when Andretti Autosportannounced that they had signed him to compete with them in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and 2015 Indianapolis 500. After those races, Wilson was again on the sidelines until 7 July 2015 when Andretti announced that Wilson would compete in the final five races of the season with the team. Wilson finished on the podium in second at Mid-Ohio, three weeks before his fatal accident. He challenged eventual winner Graham Rahalfor the lead on the final restart, but Rahal was able to outbrake Wilson holding the inside line at the end of the back straight.

Sports car racing Edit

In 2006, Wilson took part in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona event for the first time in his career, racing for the Michael Shank Racing team in a Lexus powered Riley & Scott Daytona Prototype chassis. Teaming up with Champ Car teammate A. J. Allmendinger, Oswaldo Negri and Mark Patterson, the car made it to the chequered flag in second place.

In 2008 Wilson again drove in the Rolex Daytona 24 Hours race for Michael Shank Racing, this time in a Ford powered Riley prototype chassis. He shared the number 60 car with Oswaldo Negri, Mark Patterson and Graham Rahal, they finished the race in sixth position and were the highest placed Ford powered car.

On 28–29 January 2012, Wilson and co-drivers A. J. Allmendinger, Oswaldo Negri and John Pew won the 50th Rolex 24 at Daytona, driving the number 60 Michael Shank Racing Riley MkXXVI Ford Daytona Prototype. It was his first Rolex 24 win. Wilson returned to the podium with Michael Shank Racing at Daytona in 2013 after he and co-drivers Pew, Negri, Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose recovered from being several laps down to finish third in the race.

Investment program Edit

Wilson struggled to raise the money needed to get a Formula One seat with the Minarditeam in 2003, so his management team developed a program that gave investors the opportunity to support Wilson's career by buying shares in him to the public to raise the £1.2 million needed.[24] The program was supported by television commentator Murray Walker amongst others and ended up being oversubscribed. There are nearly 900 shareholders, each of whom invested a minimum of £500. Wilson was formerly managed by former Grand Prix driver Jonathan Palmer.

Personal life Edit

Wilson married girlfriend Julia in Sheffield, England, on 29 December 2006.[25][26] The couple resided in Northampton, England, and in Longmont, Colorado.[27] Their first child, Jane Louise, was born on 12 April 2008 in Lafayette, Colorado, and Jessica Lynne was born on 12 January 2010.[28]

Wilson's younger brother, Stefan, is also a racing driver. In 2009, Stefan joined the Indy Lights Series for its street and road course events, the support series to IndyCar. Stefan made his first IndyCar start in the 2013 Grand Prix of Baltimore driving alongside Justin for Dale Coyne Racing. It was the first time brothers had raced in IndyCar as teammates since Gary Bettenhausen and Tony Bettenhausen, Jr. in 1983.

Wilson was diagnosed with dyslexia when he was 13 years old. Although he had never hidden his condition, he did not talk about it publicly until he joined Twitter, where he added a warning to his profile indicating that his tweets might not make sense. In 2012, Wilson began working with the International Dyslexia Association to raise awareness about the learning disability.

Death Edit

Wilson was fatally injured in an accident during the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on 23 August 2015. Race leader Sage Karam crashed late in the race, sending debris airborne. The car ahead of him, driver James Jakes slowed down faster than Wilson did, so Wilson went to the outside to avoid contact with his car. At the same time, the nose cone from Karam's crashed car hit Wilson's helmet as he drove through the accident scene, and Wilson's car almost immediately veered left into the inside wall. Wilson was extricated from his car and airlifted to Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown. He was subsequently reported to be in a coma, and died the following day. Tributes from the motorsport world included Nigel Mansell, Jenson Button and Dario Franchitti. NASCAR Sprint Cup Seriesdriver Tony Stewart lent his private plane to Wilson's family so they could fly out to Pennsylvania.

It was the first death in IndyCar since 2011, when Dan Wheldon died in a crash during the IZOD IndyCar World Championship at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Wilson's funeral took place at the parish church in Paulerspury, Northamptonshire on 10 September 2015, attended by 500 people including Mark Webber, Dario Franchitti, Jonathan Palmer and Sir Jackie Stewart.

Legacy Edit

The day after Wilson's death, his younger brother Stefan indicated that Wilson saved six lives by donating his organs.

On 27 August IndyCar drivers Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe, Josef Newgarden, Will Power and Graham Rahal converted what had been a previously planned promotion for the season finale at Sonoma Raceway by driving their cars across the Golden Gate bridge into a tribute for Wilson. Andretti drove Wilson's number 25 car and Hinchcliffe, in the Honda two-seat promotional car, in his first official action since his serious injury at the Indianapolis 500, delivered the Astor Cup trophy to Sonoma Raceway, the site of the final race of the 2015 IndyCar Series season.

NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Joey Gase, who usually runs a Donate for Life car when he cannot get sponsorship and honors someone whose life was cut short and saved others' lives on the bumper panel, put a picture of Wilson on his car for the Road America race. A.J. Allmendinger, a former teammate of Wilson in sportscar races (including the 2012 Rolex 24 win), who drives the No. 47 car in the Cup Series, put Wilson's name on the name rail of the car for the rest of the 2015 season.

In the following IndyCar race in Sonoma, close friend Oriol Servia drove the number 25 car in his honour, finishing 12th. In 2016, Stefan drove a KVSH car at the Indianapolis 500, driving the No. 25 in memory of Justin.

On July 25, 2016, Snetterton Circuit announced the hairpin on the Snetterton 300 circuit, Turn 2, will be named Wilson in his memory. His helmet and name are placed on the circuit to honour the new circuit. 

Motorsports career results Edit

Complete International Formula 3000 results Edit

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 DC Points
1999 Team Astromega IMO

6

MON

Ret

CAT

6

MAG

10

SIL

Ret

A1R

Ret

HOC

Ret

HUN

7

SPA

Ret

NÜR

Ret

20th 2
2000 Nordic Racing IMO

8

SIL

3

CAT

5

NÜR

Ret

MON

7

MAG

9

A1R

2

HOC

Ret

HUN

5

SPA

5

5th 16
2001 Coca-Cola Nordic Racing INT

1

IMO

6

CAT

3

A1R

1

MON

2

NÜR

Ret

MAG

2

SIL

2

HOC

2

HUN

1

SPA

2

MNZ

2

1st 71

Complete American Le Mans Series results Edit

Year Entrant Class Chassis Engine Tyres 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Rank Points
2002 Team Ascari LMP900 AscariKZR-1 JuddGV4 4.0L V10 G SEB

ovr:6
cls:6

SON MID AME WAS TRO MOS MON MIA PET 39th 19
2004 Taurus Racing LMP1 Lola B2K/10 JuddGV4 4.0L V10 D SEB

ovr:22
cls:9

MID LIM SON POR MOS AME PET MON 27th 8

Complete Formula One results Edit

(key)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 WDC Points
2003 EuropeanMinardi Cosworth MinardiPS03 CosworthV10 AUS

Ret

MAL

Ret

BRA

Ret

SMR

Ret

ESP

11

AUT

13

MON

Ret

CAN

Ret

EUR

13

FRA

14

GBR

16

20th 1
Jaguar Racing JaguarR4 CosworthV10 GER

Ret

HUN

Ret

ITA

Ret

USA

8

JPN

13

American open-wheel racing results Edit

(key)

Champ Car Edit

Year Team Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Rank Points
2004 Conquest Racing Lola B02/00 Ford XFE LBH

6

MTY

6

POR

5

CLE

18

TOR

12

VAN

14

ROA

7

DEN

7

MTL

14

LS

18

LVG

8

SRF

8

MXC

4

11th 188
Reynard 02i MIL

11

2005 RuSPORT Lola B02/00 Ford XFE LBH

4

MTY

4

MIL

4

POR

17

CLE

7

TOR

1

EDM

4

SJO

4

DEN

17

MTL

3

LVG

11

SRF

7

MXC

1

3rd 265
2006 RuSPORT Lola B02/00 Ford XFE LBH

2

HOU

5

MTY

2

MIL

2

POR

2

CLE

13

TOR

4

EDM

1

SJO

3

DEN

8

MTL

14

ROA

5

SRF

Wth

MXC

2

2nd 298
2007 RSPORTS PanozDP01 CosworthXFE LVG

14

LBH

4

HOU

10

POR

2

CLE

4

MTT

5

TOR

3

EDM

2

SJO

13

ROA

8

ZOL

5

ASN

1

SRF

2

MXC

10

2nd 281

IndyCar Series Edit

Year Team Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Rank Points
2008 Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing Dallara Honda HMS

15

STP

9

MOT1 KAN

9

INDY

27

MIL

7

TXS

27

IOW

12

RIR

7

WGL

25

NSH

18

MDO

11

EDM

3

KTY

19

SNM

9

DET

1

CHI

11

SRF2

12

11th 340
Panoz Cosworth LBH1

19

2009 Dale Coyne Racing Dallara Honda STP

3

LBH

22

KAN

14

INDY

23

MIL

15

TXS

15

IOW

18

RIR

14

WGL

1

TOR

5

EDM

8

KTY

21

MDO

13

SNM

7

CHI

10

MOT

12

HMS

10

9th 354
2010 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing SAO

11

STP

2

ALA

7

LBH

2

KAN

18

INDY

7

TXS

19

IOW

24

WGL

10

TOR

7*

EDM

21

MDO

27

SNM

6

CHI

7

KTY

11

MOT

16

HMS

21

11th 361
2011 STP

10

ALA

19

LBH

22

SAO

7

INDY

16

TXS

17

TXS

21

MIL

10

IOW

12

TOR

15

EDM

5

MDO

Wth

NHM SNM BAL MOT KTY LVS 24th 183
2012 Dale Coyne Racing Dallara DW12 STP

10

ALA

19

LBH

10

SAO

22

INDY

7

DET

22

TXS

1

MIL

23

IOW

10

TOR

21

EDM

9

MDO

18

SNM

11

BAL

17

FON

23

15th 278
2013 STP

9

ALA

8

LBH

3

SAO

20

INDY

5

DET

3

DET

22

TXS

15

MIL

9

IOW

11

POC

7

TOR

11

TOR

8

MDO

8

SNM

2

BAL

4

HOU

3

HOU

4

FON

18

6th 472
2014 STP

8

LBH

16

ALA

6

IMS

11

INDY

22

DET

4

DET

12

TXS

21

HOU

10

HOU

12

POC

14

IOW

13

TOR

10

TOR

10

MDO

15

MIL

17

SNM

9

FON

13

15th 395
2015 Andretti Autosport STP NLA LBH ALA IMS

24

INDY

21

DET
DET
TXS
TOR
FON
MIL

18

IOW

17

MDO

2

POC

15

SNM
24th 108
1 Run on same day.
2 Non-points-paying, exhibition race.
Years Teams Races Poles Wins Podiums

(non-win)

Top 10s

(non-podium)

Indianapolis 500

wins

Championships
8 4 120 2 3 9 41 0 0

Indianapolis 500 Edit

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish Team
2008 Dallara Honda 16 27 Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing
2009 Dallara Honda 15 23 Dale Coyne Racing
2010 Dallara Honda 11 7 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
2011 Dallara Honda 19 16 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
2012 Dallara Honda 21 7 Dale Coyne Racing
2013 Dallara Honda 14 5 Dale Coyne Racing
2014 Dallara Honda 14 22 Dale Coyne Racing
2015 Dallara Honda 6 21 Andretti Autosport

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results Edit

Year Team Co-drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class

pos.

2004 Racing for Holland Tom Coronel

 Ralph Firman

Dome S101-Judd LMP1 313 DNF DNF

Complete 24 Hours of Daytona results Edit

Year Team Co-drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class

pos.

2006 Michael Shank Racing A. J. Allmendinger

 Oswaldo Negri, Jr.
 Mark Patterson

Riley Mk.XI-Lexus DP 733 2 2
2008 Michael Shank Racing Oswaldo Negri, Jr.

 Mark Patterson
 Graham Rahal

Riley Mk.XI-Ford DP 680 6 6
2010 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Max Papis

 Scott Pruett
 Memo Rojas

Riley Mk.XI-BMW DP 755 2 2
2011 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian A. J. Allmendinger

 Michael McDowell

Dallara Ford DP 719 7 7
2012 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian A. J. Allmendinger

 Oswaldo Negri, Jr.
 John Pew

Riley Mk.XXVI-Ford DP 761 1 1
2013 Michael Shank Racing A. J. Allmendinger

 Marcos Ambrose
 Oswaldo Negri, Jr.
 John Pew

Riley Mk.XXVI-Ford DP 709 3 3
2014 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian A. J. Allmendinger

 Oswaldo Negri, Jr.
 John Pew

Riley Mk.XXVI-FordEcoboost P 599 47 12

Touring Car racing Edit

V8 Supercar results Edit

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Final Pos Points
2012 Kelly Racing Holden VE Commodore ADE

R1

ADE

R2

SYM

R3

SYM

R4

HAM

R5

HAM

R6

PER

R7

PER

R8

PER

R9

PHI

R10

PHI

R11

HDV

R12

HDV

R13

TOW

R14

TOW

R15

QLD

R16

QLD

R17

SMP

R18

SMP

R19

SAN

Q

SAN

R20

BAT

R21

SUR

R22
13

SUR

R23
20

YMC

R24

YMC

R25

YMC

R26

WIN

R27

WIN

R28

SYD

R29

SYD

R30

NC 0 †

† Not eligible for points

Complete Formula E results Edit

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Pos Points
2014–15 Andretti Autosport Spark-Renault SRT 01E BEI PUT PDE BNA MIA LBH MON BER MOS

10

LON LON 25th 1ReferencesEdit
Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses some content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Justin Wilson (racing driver). The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Autopedia, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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