Justin Wilson: Wikis

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Justin Wilson

Justin Wilson at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2008.
Nationality United Kingdom British
Date of birth July 31, 1978 (1978-07-31) (age 31)
Place of birth Sheffield (England)
Related to Stefan Wilson (brother)
2010 IRL IndyCar Series
Debut season 2008
Current team Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
Car no. 22
Former teams Dale Coyne Racing
Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing
Starts 35
Wins 2
Poles 1
Fastest laps 2
Best finish 10th in 2009
Justin Wilson
Champ Car World Series
Years active 2004–2007
Teams Conquest Racing
RuSPORT
RSPORTS
Starts 54
Wins 4
Poles 6
Best finish 2nd in 2006, 2007
Awards
2006, 2007 Greg Moore Legacy Award
Formula One World Championship career
Active years 2003
Teams Minardi, Jaguar
Races 16
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 0
Career points 1
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
First race 2003 Australian Grand Prix
Last race 2003 Japanese Grand Prix

Justin Wilson (born 31 July 1978 in Sheffield) is a British racing driver from England who currently competes in the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. He competed in the Champ Car series from 200407, scoring 4 wins. He competed in Formula One in the 2003 season with Minardi and Jaguar and was the winner of the 2001 International Formula 3000 championship.

Contents

Early career (to 2002)

Brought up in the tiny hamlet of Woodall, near Harthill, South Yorkshire,[1] Wilson began racing karts in 1987. During the early 1990s, he spent several years in Formula Vauxhall with Paul Stewart Racing before earning international attention when he won the inaugural Formula Palmer Audi championship with nine race wins. In 1998, he was a finalist in the McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award. A year later, he graduated to the FIA International Formula 3000 championship and won the championship in 2001, setting a record winning margin in the process.

Despite his success, his height proved a liability, and prevented him from securing a Formula 1 ride for 2002. He found a ride in the Telefonica World Series by Nissan, where he continued his winning ways with race victories at Interlagos and Valencia.

Wilson also tested for the Minardi Formula 1 team, but although regular driver Alex Yoong was replaced for two rounds, Wilson was unable to race the car due to his height.[2]

Formula One career (2003)

For 2003, Minardi designed the car around Wilson's 6'4" (1.93m) frame and signed him up to race. The car was off the pace but Wilson performed favorably against his more experienced teammate, Jos Verstappen. He switched to Jaguar Racing to replace Antônio Pizzonia for the last five races of the season, and scored his first championship point at the United States Grand Prix. However, Wilson did not retain his position with Jaguar Racing, because Ford were not prepared to pour unlimited funds into F1 and advised the team that they would have to take on a paying driver. Christian Klien, who was funded by Austrian drink company Red Bull, and who had tested for Jaguar in November 2003, was able to bring sponsorship and thus secure a driver's seat for 2004.

Champ Car career (2004 to 2007)

At the beginning of 2004, Wilson joined the Champ Car World Series with Mi-Jack Conquest Racing. He qualified as high as 2nd in his rookie season and finished the year 11th place in points. In addition to Champ Cars, Wilson also raced at the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race, sharing the Racing for Holland Dome-Judd S101 with Tom Coronel and Ralph Firman, personally setting the 5th fastest lap.

In 2005, Wilson moved to the RuSPORT team to partner A. J. Allmendinger. He won his first Champ Car race at Toronto. Continuing with his success in Canada, Wilson finished third at Montreal, then rounded off the year with a victory from pole in the final race of the season in Mexico City circuit. Wilson finished the season in third place in the drivers standings behind series champion Sébastien Bourdais and second-placed Oriol Servia.

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 & Scott Daytona 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 2nd place.

Wilson stayed with RuSPORT for the 2006 season, and finished second in the series. On October 19, 2006 in the Friday qualifying for the Surfers Paradise race, Wilson hit a small barrier of tires in a chicane. When the front tires lurched sideways after the hit, the steering wheel spun sharply in Wilson's hands and broke a small bone in his right wrist.[3]

For 2007, Wilson was signed on a multi-year contract with RSPORTS, a merger of his former team and Rocketsports.[4] He finished second in the championship. Preceding the European rounds of the championship (Zolder, Belgium and Assen, Holland) RSPORTS announced their separation back into RuSport and Rocketsports.[5]

IndyCar career (2008–present)

Wilson practicing for the 2008 Indianapolis 500

Wilson signed for reigning ChampCar champions Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing for 2008,[6] replacing Sebastien Bourdais. The ChampCar series merged with the Indy Racing League for 2008, meaning that Wilson and team-mate Graham Rahal competed in the IndyCar Series.[7] Wilson qualified on pole for the Long Beach Grand Prix and second at Edmonton. Wilson won his first race for NHLR and took his maiden IndyCar Series win at the Detroit Indy Grand Prix in late August, moving up from 4th at the start to 2nd through pitstops before gaining the lead when Hélio Castroneves was penalised for blocking. However, like many drivers switching from the road and street course based Champ Car series, he was not yet competitive in the series' oval races.

At the end of the points scoring races of the season Justin placed 11th in the overall standings and finished 2nd in the Bombardier Rookie of the Year standings. He missed out by just 4 points from Hideki Mutoh of the long established IndyCar Series Andretti Green Racing team, he was the best placed of the so-called transition drivers without any significant oval racing history. Oriol Servia finished higher but had enough oval racing experience in both the IRL and Champ Car to not be deemed a rookie.

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 6th position and were the highest placed Ford powered car[8].

Wilson racing at the Milwaukee Mile for Dale Coyne Racing in 2009

Wilson agreed to drive for Dale Coyne Racing in 2009,[9] after losing his ride at Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing. Wilson qualified 2nd for the 2009 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg to start the season, which is Coyne's best qualifying result in the team's 23-year history. He finished the race in 3rd position, set the fastest lap of the race and led the most laps. Wilson was leading before a late-race caution came out; eventual race winner Ryan Briscoe passed him on the restart.

On July 5, 2009 Justin Wilson scored his second IndyCar Series win, and Dale Coyne's first victory as an owner in his team's 23-year history. At the 2009 Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen, Wilson again qualified second, only behind Briscoe, who set a new track record twice over the course of qualifying. Because Dario Franchitti crashed early in the final round of qualifying, Wilson was able to save a set of Firestone's alternate-compound tires, which are designed to make the car faster, but also wear out more quickly. Wilson was the fastest driver in final practice. In the race itself, Wilson attempted to pass Briscoe on the second lap, but was unsuccessful; two laps later, he made the pass stick, leading the first of 49 laps he spent in front. With six laps remaining in the 60-lap event, a full-course caution came out, resulting in the same setup as St. Petersburg: Wilson leading late, with Briscoe right behind him. This time, however, Wilson retained the lead, stretching it to 4.9 seconds by the end of the race.[10]

Wilson took part in the 2010 running of the Daytona 24 Hours race. This time he was racing for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates in the Telmex/Target sponsored 01 Riley BMW prototype. Wilson shared the car with Max Papis, Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas, the car finished the race on the lead lap in 2nd place[11]. During the race in an interview with Speed TV Wilson confirmed he was still working on a drive in the 2010 IRL season, saying he hoped to have a deal arranged "in the next few weeks".

On February 2, 2010 it was announced that Wilson would be joining Dreyer & Reinbold Racing for the 2010 IndyCar season, he is to drive the #22 Z-Line Designs sponsored car & will be partnered throughout the season by Mike Conway[12]. For the opening race in Brazil they were joined by Ana Beatriz,ref>http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/81710</ref>.

Investment scheme

Wilson struggled to raise the money needed to get a Formula One seat with the Minardi team in 2003, so his management team came up with the idea of selling shares in him to the public to raise the £1.2 million needed.[13] The scheme was supported by television commentator Murray Walker amongst others and ended up being oversubscribed. There are nearly 900 shareholders, each of whom invested a minimum of £500. Justin is presently managed by former Grand Prix driver Jonathan Palmer.

Personal life

Wilson married girlfriend Julia in Sheffield, England on 29 December 2006.[14] The couple reside in Northampton, England and near Denver, Colorado.[15]

They welcomed their first child, a daughter named Jane Louise Wilson into the world on Saturday, 12 April 2008 at 11:27 p.m. MT, she was born at the Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center in Lafayette, Colorado.[16] Second daughter Jessica Lynne Wilson was born on 12 January 2010.

Wilson's younger brother, Stefan, is also a successful racing driver. This year, Stefan has joined the Indy Lights Series for its street and road course events, the support series to Indy Cars. Stefan and Justin will thus be seeing a lot more of each other in 2009.

Motorsports career results

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Complete International Formula 3000 results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 DC Points
1999 Team Astromega IMO
6
MON
Ret
CAT
6
MAG
10
SIL
Ret
A1R
Ret
HOC
Ret
HUN
7
SPA
Ret
NUR
Ret
20th 2
2000 Nordic Racing IMO
8
SIL
3
CAT
5
NUR
Ret
MON
7
MAG
9
A1R
2
HOC
Ret
HUN
5
SPA
5
5th 16
2001 Coca-Cola Nordic Racing INT
1
IMO
6
CAT
3
A1R
1
MON
2
NUR
Ret
MAG
2
SIL
2
HOC
2
HUN
1
SPA
2
MNZ
2
1st 71

Formula One

(key)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 WDC Points
2003 European Minardi Cosworth Minardi PS03 Cosworth V10 AUS
Ret
MAL
Ret
BRA
Ret
SMR
Ret
ESP
11
AUT
13
MON
Ret
CAN
Ret
EUR
13
FRA
14
GBR
16
20th 1
Jaguar Racing Jaguar R4 Cosworth V10 GER
Ret
HUN
Ret
ITA
Ret
USA
8
JPN
13

American open wheel results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

Champ Car

Yr Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Rank Points
2004 Conquest LBH
6
MTY
6
MIL
11
POR
5
CLE
Ret
TOR
12
VAN
14
ROA
7
DEN
7
MTL
Ret
LAG
Ret
LAS
8
SUR
8
MEX
4
11th 188
2005 RuSPORT LBH
4
MTY
4
MIL
4
POR
17
CLE
7
TOR
1
EDM
4
SJO
4
DEN
Ret
MTL
3
LSV
11
SRF
7
MEX
1
  3rd 265
2006 RuSPORT LBH
2
HST
5
MTY
2
MIL
2
POR
2
CLE
Ret
TOR
4
EDM
1
SJO
3
DEN
8
MTL
Ret
ROA
5
SRF
Inj
MEX
2
2nd 298
2007 RSPORTS LVG
Ret
LGB
4
HST
10
POR
2
CLE
4
MTT
5
TOR
3
EDM
2
SJO
13
ROA
8
ZOL
5
ASN
1
SRF
2
MEX
10
2nd 281

IndyCar

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Rank Points
2008 N/H/L United States
HMS
15
United States
STP
9
Japan
MOT1
DNP
United States
LBH1
Ret
United States
KAN
9
United States
INDY
Ret
United States
MIL
7
United States
TXS
Ret
United States
IOW
12
United States
RIR
7
United States
WGL
Ret
United States
NSH
18
Canada
MDO
11
Canada
EDM
3
United States
KTY
Ret
United States
SNM
9
United States
DET
1
United States
CHI
11
Australia
SRF2
11
11th 340
2009 Coyne United States
STP
3
United States
LBH
Ret
United States
KAN
14
United States
INDY
Ret
United States
MIL
15
United States
TXS
15
United States
IOW
Ret
United States
RIR
14
United States
WGL
1
Canada
TOR
5
Canada
EDM
8
United States
KTY
Ret
United States
MDO
13
United States
SNM
7
United States
CHI
10
Japan
MOT
12
United States
HMS
10
10th 354
2010 Dreyer & Reinbold Brazil
BRA
11
United States
STP
United States
ALA
United States
LBH
United States
KAN
United States
INDY
United States
TXS
United States
IOW
United States
WGL
Canada
TOR
Canada
EDM
United States
MDO
United States
SNM
United States
CHI
United States
KTY
Japan
MOT
United States
HMS
11th 19
1 Run on same day.
2 Non-points-paying, exhibition race.
Years Teams Races Poles Wins Podiums
(Non-win)
Top 10s
(Non-podium)
Indianapolis 500
Wins
Championships
3 3 35 1 2 2 10 0 0

Indianapolis 500 results

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish Team Note
2008 Dallara Honda 16 27 N/H/L T1 Accident
2009 Dallara Honda 15 23 Coyne T1 Accident

References

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
None
Formula Palmer Audi
Champion

1998
Succeeded by
Richard Tarling
Preceded by
Bruno Junqueira
International Formula 3000 Champion
2001
Succeeded by
Sébastien Bourdais

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