Justin Wilson

Full Name:
Justin Boyd Wilson
Born:
31st July 1978
Sheffield, Yorkshire
Died:
24th August 2015 (Aged 37)
Allentown, Pennsylvania (USA), the day after crashing during the Pocono Indycar race
Nationality:
British
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

This popular 6ft 3in tall Yorkshireman was a Formula 1 driver for a season and a winner in both Europe and North America. The only British driver to win the Formula 3000 title, he won races in both Champ Cars and the IndyCar Series. That he should lose his life when driving for a leading team at last, is a cruel irony.

Early racing career

Justin Wilson started racing cars in the 1995 Formula Vauxhall Junior series. He spent the next two seasons with Paul Stewart Racing in the senior Vauxhall series and finished as runner-up in 1996. Without the funds to race in Formula 3, Wilson won the 1998 Palmer Audi Championship and benefited from promoter Jonathan Palmer’s guidance thereafter.

Wilson moved directly into F3000 with Team Astromega in 1999 and scored a couple of early season sixth place finishes. With Nordic Racing for his second F3000 season, Wilson was second in Austria and fifth in the championship. He remained with the team for 2001 and became Britain’s first F3000 champion with a record tally of podium finishes and points scored.

However, Wilson was unable to find an F1 ride so he drove for Racing Engineering in the inaugural World Series by Nissan in 2002 – winning twice and finishing fourth overall.

Formula 1 with Minardi and Jaguar

At last, Wilson had his F1 opportunity in 2003 with Minardi. His performances for the Italian minnows led to a mid-season switch to the better-funded but underachieving Jaguar Racing from the German Grand Prix. Wilson ended the year with a championship point by finishing eighth in the United States GP.

Subsequent North American career

That did not warrant a new contract and Wilson sought refuge in Champ Cars – initially with Conquest before establishing himself with RuSport from 2005. A breakthrough victory at Toronto followed and Wilson clinched third in the championship by winning the final round in Mexico from pole position. He was runner-up to Sébastien Bourdais in 2006 (despite missing a race due to a broken wrist) and won 2007’s Dutch round.

With a contract to lead reigning champions Newman-Haas in the 2008 Champ Car World Series, Wilson and the team switched the rival IndyCar Series as American open-wheel racing reunified. However, the team struggled to adapt although both Graham Rahal and Wilson won on street courses – the Englishman successful on Detroit’s Belle Isle.

He spent 2009 with Dale Coyne Racing and won at Watkins Glen to score the perennial backmarker team’s first victory. Wilson then joined Dreyer & Reinbold and 2010 included early-season second place finishes at St Petersburg and Long Beach, 11 laps in the lead at Indianapolis and pole position in Toronto. However, his second season with the team was cut short by compressed vertebrae suffered in a practice accident at Mi-Ohio.

Fit again, Wilson began 2012 in the winning Michael Shank Racing Riley-Ford at the Daytona 24 Hours. He returned to Coyne for that year’s IndyCar Series and Wilson was successful once more – taking advantage of Rahal’s late mistake in Texas to score the team’s second victory in the championship.

Indycar move to Andretti Autosport

Fifth in the 2013 Indianapolis 500, he was second at sears Point as he finished sixth in the championship for Coyne. The following season was less competitive and Wilson began 2015 without a regular ride. He joined Andretti Autosport for a limited schedule that included both Indianapolis races and a one-off Formula E appearance in Moscow. He replaced Simona de Silvestro in the team's number 25 car from July's Milwaukee race, enjoying an opportunity with a top Indycar team at last.

Two weeks after finishing second at Mid-Ohio, Wilson's helmet was struck by debris from a crashing car during the Pocono 500. He suffered severe head injuries from which he succumbed on the following day.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
2015 Verizon IndyCar Series
Andretti Autosport
6 0 1 0
0% win rate
24th 108
2014/2015 FIA Formula E Championship
Andretti Autosport
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
25th 1
2014 Verizon IndyCar Series
Dale Coyne Racing
18 0 0 0
0% win rate
15th 395
2013 IZOD IndyCar Series
Dale Coyne Racing
19 0 4 0
0% win rate
6th 472
2012 IZOD IndyCar Series
Dale Coyne Racing
15 0 1 1
7% win rate
16th 278
2012 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series
Michael Shank Racing
1 0 1 1 0
2011 IZOD IndyCar Series
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
11 0 0 0
0% win rate
24th 183
2010 IZOD IndyCar Series
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
17 1 2 0
0% win rate
11th 361
2009 IRL IndyCar Series
Dale Coyne Racing
17 0 2 1
6% win rate
9th 354
2008 IRL IndyCar Series
Newman-Haas-Lanigan Racing
17 1 2 1
6% win rate
11th 340
2007 Champ Car World Series
RSports
14 2 5 1
8% win rate
2nd 281
2006 Champ Car World Series
RuSport
13 (1) 2 7 1
8% win rate
2nd 298
2005 Champ Car World Series
RuSport
13 2 3 2
16% win rate
3rd 265
2004 Bridgestone Champ Car World Series
Conquest Racing
14 0 0 0
0% win rate
11th 188
2003 F1 World Championship
Jaguar Racing
European Minardi F1
Trust European Minardi
16 0 0 0
0% win rate
20th 1
2002 Telefonica Super Nissan V6 World Series
Racing Engineering
18 2 8 2
12% win rate
4th 171 (173)
2001 FIA International F3000 Championship
Coca-Cola Nordic Racing
12 2 10 3
25% win rate
1st 71
2000 FIA International F3000 Championship
Nordic Racing.com
10 0 2 0
0% win rate
5th 16
1999 FIA International F3000 Championship
Team Astromega
10 0 0 0
0% win rate
18th 2