Justin Wilson died after Pocono500 accident
Wilson, born on July 31st, 1978, in England, sustained severe head injuries after a part of Sage Karam‘s crashed car hit him on the helmet. IndyCar CEO Mark Miles made the announcement of the fatal outcome Monday night at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“On behalf of the Wilson family, it is with profound sadness that we announce that Justin Wilson died this evening at Lehigh Valley Health Network Hospital in Allentown, as a result of the head injury he sustained yesterday at the Pocono Raceway. He passed away in the company of his family, his brother Stefan, his wonderful wife Julia and his parents, Keith and Lynn. Justin’s elite ability to drive a race car was matched by his unwavering kindness, character and humility, which made him one of the most respected members of the paddock. As we know, the racing industry is one big family and the focus now is rallying around Justin’s family to ensure they get the support that they need during this difficult time. Anyone who follows our sport knows Justin is one of the most well-respected, highly regarded and liked people in the entire paddock. He will be missed,” Miles said.
Video : Justin Wilson fatal crash racing at Pocono in the Indy 500 series
Loss of a respected IndyCar driver
Wilson’s family also released a statement Monday night:
“Justin was a loving father and devoted husband, as well as a highly competitive racing driver who was respected by his peers. The family would like to thank the staff at the Lehigh Valley Health Network Cedar Crest Hospital, Pocono Raceway, Andretti Autosport and the Verizon IndyCar Series as well as the entire racing community for the amazing outpouring of support from fans around the world.” The family also said that Wilson was an organ donor and that they would honor his wishes.
Wilson left behind his wife Julia, and two daughters. His younger brother Stefan is an accomplished race car driver who has competed in the Verizon IndyCar Series and Indy Lights. The funeral arrangements are pending. In lieu of flowers, a fund has been set up for Wilson children. Donations may be sent to: Wilson Children’s Fund, c/o INDYCAR, 4551 W. 16th St., Indianapolis, IN 46222.
Formidable racing career
Over the span of a long and illustrious career, Wilson recorded seven IndyCar victories and eight poles in 174 races. He led 711 laps, including two on Sunday. He competed in the Formula One in 2003 with Minardi and Jaguar, and his initial Formula One points were scored that year in the U.S. Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. He co-drove a Michael Shank Racing sports car entry to the overall victory in the 50th anniversary Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2012.
Wilson was considered one of the most talented drivers in the Verizon IndyCar Series because he was equally competitive on all types of circuits. In 2009, he drove the under-funded Dale Coyne Racing to its first-ever victory when at the Watkins Glen. In 2012, he drove Dale Coyne Racing’s Honda to another win in the Firestone 600 at the Texas Motor Speedway.
In the 2015 season, he settled a part-time arrangement with Andretti Autosport. He started and finished at the 18th position in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, started sixth and finished 21st in the 99th Indianapolis 500. Wilson finished second to Graham Rahal in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 2.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Justin Wilson. He was a tremendous racer, a valuable member of the team and respected representative to our sport. While Justin was only part of the Andretti lineup for a short time, it only took a second for him to forever become part of the Andretti family. His life and racing career is a story of class and passion surpassed by none. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the Wilson family and fans worldwide,” Andretti Autosport said in a statement.