- August 22, 1972
- Stock Car Brasil
Max Wilson is a Brazilian racing driver who currently competes in the Brazilian Stock Car series, in which he was a champion in 2010.
Before making Stock Car debut in 2009, Wilson raced six seasons in the Australian V8 Supercars Championship, one season in the CART Championship Series, three seasons in the International Formula 3000 Championship. Wilson never raced in Formula 1 although he worked as a test driver for Williams and Michelin.
Vice-champion two times early in a career
Born in August 1972 in Hamburg, Germany, Max Wilson Ferreira de Lima started his racing career in 1985 in karting competitions. He switched to car racing in 1993, entering the Brazilian Formula Ford Championship with Morioka Racing and finishing fourth in the points.
In 1994, he moved to the Brazilian Formula Chevrolet Championship and finished second in the points, losing a title to Felipe Giaffone. In 1995, Max Wilson was a vice-champion again in the Formula 3 Sudamericana. He won four races and lost a title to Ricardo Zonta.
Moving to Europe in 1996
In 1995, Wilson also participated in one round of the German Formula 3 Championship with Opel Team BSR, then moving to Germany in 1996 to race full-time in the German Formula 3.
He started the season with Tokmakidis Motorsport's Dallara-Opel but joined Prema Powerteam from the third round to drive a Dallara-Fiat. He won one race, at Diepholz Airfield Circuit, to finish tenth in the points.
In 1996, Wilson also made a guest appearance in the International Touring Car Championship, driving the #19 Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI for Bosch JAS Motorsport at Interlagos. He was ninth in Race 1 and second in Race 2.
Three seasons in the International Formula 3000
In 1997, Edenbridge Racing picked up Wilson to drive for the team in the International Formula 3000 Championship. At the wheel of the #12 Lola T96/50 Zytek-Judd, Wilson scored three podiums to finish fifth in the points. The champion was his compatriot Ricardo Zonta.
Wilson stayed for one more season with Edenbridge Racing in Formula 3000. He was ninth in the points with just one podium. For the 1999 Formula 3000 season, Wilson joined Den Blå Avis/Petrobras Junior Team, scored three podiums and finished 8th in the points.
Testing F1 car, never racing in the premier open-wheel series
While racing in Formula 3000, Max Wilson was a test driver for the Williams F1 team in 1998. After three seasons in Formula 3000, he was offered a drive in Formula 1 with Minardi but a lack of sponsorship prevented a deal.
However, Wilson was involved in Formula 1 as a test driver for Michelin as the French tyre manufacturer was preparing to re-enter Formula One competition.
Victory at 2001 Mil Milhas Brasileiras
After a year without racing in 2000, Wilson started the 2001 season with a victory in the famous Mil Milhas Brasileiras endurance race at Interlagos.
He won the race in the #21 Porsche 996 GT3-RS of Stuttgart Sportscar team. His co-drivers were Brazilians Regis Schuch, Andre Lara-Resende and Flavio Trindale.
One season in the CART Championship Series
In 2001, Wilson continued his career in the United States, entering the CART FedEx Championship Series. He was driving the #25 Lola-Phoenix in three races for Arciero-Brooke Racing and then the #25 Lola-Cosworth for Arciero-Blair Racing in twelve races.
He finished best in the fourth place at Portland International Raceway. In other races, he was not better than 15th. After fifteen races, Wilson ended the season 18th in the overall standings and fourth among rookies.
Moving to Australia to race V8 Supercars
Wilson had no budget for another season in North America so he packed his bags and moved to Australia to start a new career in the V8 Supercars Championship. He joined Briggs Motor Sport to drive the #65 Ford AU Falcon.
His best result was the eighth place at Surfers Paradise and he finished 32nd in the final standings. In his debut at Bathurst 1000, Wilson didn't finish the race, sharing a car with Dean Canto.
Maiden Supercars podium with Dick Johnson Racing in 2003
For the 2003 Supercars season, Wilson joined Dick Johnson Racing to drive the #18 Ford BA Falcon, alongside team owner's son Steven Johnson. The highlight of the season was Wilson's maiden podium in the last race of the season at Eastern Creek Raceway and he finished 7th in the championship standings. At Bathurst 1000, Wilson shared a car with David Brabham, finishing 12th.
In 2004, Wilson moved to the #888 Ford of Triple Eight Engineering, as a teammate to Paul Radisich. They raced together at Bathurst 1000, not finishing the race. In other races, Wilson's best result was the fifth place and he was 28th in the points at the end of the season.
One year with Holden then two more with Ford
For the 2005 Supercars season, Wilson changed a manufacturer. He joined Team Dynamik to drive the #45 Holden VZ Commodore. He was in the top 5 just once, finishing 24th in the points. At Bathurst 1000, Wilson and Tony Longhurst didn't finish the race.
Wilson returned to a cockpit of Ford Falcon in 2006, joining WPS Racing to drive the #8 car. He ended the season 15th in the points. At Bathurst 1000, he and David Besnard finished 14th. Wilson spent one more season with WPS Racing in 2007, finishing 17th in the championship points and seventh at Bathurst 1000 together with Jason Bargwanna.
2008 – fifth place at Bathurst 1000, victory at Mil Milhas Brasileiras
WPS Racing closed its operation before the 2008 Supercars season and Wilson stayed without a drive. However, he joined Brad Jones Racing in endurance events at Phillip Island and Mount Panorama, recording his career-best finish at Bathurst 1000. He and Brad Jones finished the race in the fifth place.
In November 2008, Wilson scored his second victory at Mil Milhas Brasileiras. He won the race in the #911 Porsche 997 GT3 RSR of Stuttgart Sportscar/Denner Motorsport. His partners were Marcel Visconde and Raul Boesel.
Starting a new career in Stock Car Brasil in 2009, champion in 2010
In 2009, Max Wilson returned to his homeland to start a new career in the Brazilian Stock Car series. He was driving the #65 Chevrolet Vectra for Eurofarma RC, scoring one victory and finishing ninth in the championship.
In 2010, Wilson opened a season with a victory in the first round at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in Interlagos, then added one more win at Autodromo Internacional Ayrton Senna in Londrina and took the championship title.
Regular race winner in the Stock Car Brazil
As a defending champion, Wilson stayed in the #65 Chevrolet in 2011. Scoring five podiums, he finished fourth in the points. Wilson returned to the top podium spot in 2012 at Autodromo Internacional Nelson Piquet in Brasilia, finishing sixth in the points.
Wilson was without victories in the Stock Car Brazil in the next two seasons, then scoring two wins in 2015 at Velopark and Curitiba to finish eighth in the championship. Wilson was a race winner two times again in 2016, finishing 12th in the championship points. In 2017, just one victory was good enough for the fourth place in the championship.
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