After being chosen by the family of the late Justin Wilson to replace the fallen driver and honor his memory, Oriol Servia captured a 12th-place finish in the IndyCar season finale at Sonoma Raceway.
Servia was one of Wilson’s closest friends and amid the tragedy the family felt that they would honor him the best way they knew how, at the race track, and he was not alone as Justin’s brother, Stefan, joined him.
It was the Spaniard’s first race in the series since the Indianapolis 500 earlier this year and his first time back on a road course in an Indy car since the Grand Prix of Indianapolis in May 2014.
After qualifying 19th, the 15-year series veteran ran as high as third at one point during the race, but a series of late cautions threw the No. 25 Andretti Autosport team’s strategy off-track and pushed Servia further down the running order, nipping at the heels of teammate Marco Andretti before ultimately settling for 12th.
“We obviously wanted to finish better,” said Servia. “If the last yellow would have not gone against us, we would have been top five, top six – which, I think, considering where I was not even Friday, where I was Wednesday, it’s almost impossible to believe. Very proud of the whole team, the effort everybody put in. When you think it was just last weekend that we lost Justin (Wilson) and everyone just pulling together and focusing on the job and hoping to make him proud, make his family proud.
“I think, at least, we gave it all. I hope he had fun watching us. He left a huge void for everyone that ever met him and I hope it serves to at least inspire us to be a little closer to the way he was and all be better humans.”