Monday, IndyCar made the announcement that British driver Justin Wilson has died at the age of 37.
- British driver Justin Wilson died from a head injury suffered when a piece of debris struck him at Pocono Raceway.
- British driver Justin Wilson had been in a coma since Sunday.
The British driver Justin Wilson was airlifted to nearby Lehigh Valley Health Network Cedar Crest Hospital immediately following the serious crash, which occurred during the closing laps of the race. Wilson’s Andretti Autosport car skewed down the track and slid head-on into the inside barrier.
“With deep sadness, the parents of Justin Wilson, Keith and Lynne, his wife Julia, and his brother Stefan share the news that Justin passed away today after succumbing to injuries suffered during the Verizon IndyCar event at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, August 23,” said a statement from the Wilson family.
“This is a monumentally sad day for IndyCar and the motorsports community as a whole,” said Mark Miles, chief executive of the parent company which runs IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “Justin’s elite ability to drive a race car was matched by his unwavering kindness, character and humility — which is what made him one of the most respected members of the paddock,” he said.
The last IndyCar driver to die because of an on-track incident was Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon, who was killed in the 2011 season finale at Las Vegas after his head hit a post when his car went airborne.
Justin Boyd Wilson (31 July 1978 – 24 August 2015) was a British professional open-wheel driver. Just before his death, he was competing part-time in the IndyCar Series, driving the No. 25 Honda for Andretti Autosport. Earlier, he competed in theChamp Car series from 2004–07, 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. To date, he is the tallest person to have raced in Formula One.
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 ScottDaytona 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 AJ Allmendinger, Oswaldo Negri and John Pew won the 50th Rolex 24 at Daytona, driving the No. 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 John Pew, Ozz Negri, Marcos Ambrose, and AJ Allmendinger recovered from being several laps down to finish third in the race.IMAGE/AP Photo/Derik Hamilton