Justin Wilson has passed away from injuries sustained during Sunday’s IndyCar race at Pocono Raceway.
Mark Miles, Hulman & Co., confirmed the news during a press conference Monday evening at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Wilson was struck in the head by a piece of debris from Sage Karam’s car following Karam’s spin in Turn 1 of the Pocono Raceway. Wilson was removed from the car and transported by helicopter to the Leigh Valley Health Network-Cedar Crest Hospital.
Wilson came to America in 2004 when he signed with Mi-Jack Conquest Racing after a short stint in Formula 1 driving for Minardi in 2003. After a stable year at Conquest in 2004, he burst onto the scene when he signed with RuSport Racing and scored his first win at Toronto and ended the season third in points following a win at Mexico City.
2006 and 2007 would spell even better for the Briton as he would score two more wins and finish second in the standings to the dominant Sebastien Bourdais. He would then take over Bourdais’ ride for the 2008 season as Newman Hass Racing transitioned over to the IndyCar Series as the Champ Car World Series folded. The season was a struggle as the team adapted to the new chassis but Wilson managed to establish himself as one of the best of the transitional teams and ended the season on a high note winning at the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix and dedicating the win to the late Paul Newman.
He moved on to Dale Coyne Racing in 2009 where he slayed the dragons and delivered longtime owner Dale Coyne his first win in over 20 years of competition at Watkins Glen International.
He would return to Coyne in 2012 after a brief stint at Dreyer and Reinbold Racing and once again stunned the paddock with a come from behind win at Texas Motor Speedway, his first on an oval.
His final two seasons with Coyne in 2013-2014 would spell no wins but several further instances of Wilson’s “aggressive but make it stick driving style.”
For 2015, Wilson signed with Andretti Autosport for a part-time drive initially for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis 500. That deal would extend to the final five races of the year, where we saw the Wilson that we came to know and love behind the wheel come back to life. He would score his final podium in his second to last race at Mid Ohio where he finished second to former teammate Graham Rahal.
He was also and accomplished sportscar driver, where his biggest highlight came winning the 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Wilson will be remembered as the gentle giant, standing at 6-foot-4 but never having anything bad to say about anyone. He will be remembered for his uncanny ability behind the wheel to over-achieve and bring the greatest out of any team he drove for.
He is survived by his wife Julia, two daughters Jane and Jessica, his brother Stefan and parents Keith and Lynne.
Tribute Racing’s thoughts and prayers are with the entire Wilson family, Andretti Autosport and the Verizon IndyCar Series community during this difficult time.
The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Wilson Children’s Fund care of INDYCAR.
Wilson Children’s Fund
4551 West 16th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46222