In an unfortunate series of events, the 37 year old Indycar racer, Justin Wilson has sadly passed away in the 500 mile IndyCar race at Ponoco on Sunday. He was on lap 180 when he was hit by Sage Karam’s nose section debris who had earlier crashed out of leading the race ahead of him. Wilson was airlifted in his unconscious state by the Holmatro safety team, which arrived at the scene soon after and had him airlifted to the nearest local hospital where he was declared to be in extremely critical state and in a coma from which he never recovered.
Wilson had a prolific career beginning with his Formula1 debut with Minardi. The Sheffield born driver had started racing much earlier in 1995, in Formula Vauxhall Junior, and was also a multiple race winner in Formula Vauxhall with Paul Stewart Racing. He won the 1998 Formula Palmer Audi championship, and progressed to the FIA Formula 3000, winning the title in 2001 with Nordic Racing.
Wilson had won three races in his IndyCar career and four victories in CART besides finishing in the top five in the 201 Indy 500. In his prolific career, he also raced in the Le Mans 24 Hours, Formula E, V8 Supercars, World Series by Nissan, FIA GT and the American Le Mans Series. He also won the 2012 Daytona 24 Hour sportscar classic with Michael Shank Racing, partnering AJ Allmendinger, Oswaldo Negri and John Pew along with many other achievements in his varied prolific career.
CEO of Hulman & Co., the parent of INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Mark Miles released a statement on the unfortunate event: "On behalf of the Wilson family, it's with profound sadness that we announce Justin Wilson died this evening at Lehigh Valley Health Network Hospital as a result of the head injury he sustained at the Pocono event. He passed away in the company of his family. Brother Stefan, his loving, wonderful wife Julia and his parents Keith and Lynne. Justin's 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.”
His family later released their own statement, saying: "Justin was a loving father and devoted husband, as well as a highly competitive racing driver who was respected by his peers.”
We, at Autoportal, offer our sincerest condolences to the grieving family. The racing fraternity has indeed lost one of its prolific stars.