British driver Justin Boyd Wilson has died after being struck by flying debris and suffering a serious head injury in Sunday’s Pocono IndyCar 500 race. Wilson was airlifted to hospital from the Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania after Sage Karam’s car spun and crashed in front of him on lap 179 of 200. Debris from Karam’s car hit ex-Formula 1 driver Wilson, 37, and the Andretti Autosport driver crashed into a wall.
IndyCar officials said his death was a «monumentally sad day».
Mark Miles, chief executive of IndyCar parent company Hulman & Co, said: «Justin’s elite ability to drive a race car was matched by his unwavering kindness, character and humility — which is what made him one of the most respected members of the paddock.
Wilson married girlfriend Julia in Sheffield, England on 29 December 2006. The couple resided in Northampton, England and in Longmont, Colorado. Their first child, Jane Louise, was born on 12 April 2008 in Lafayette, Colorado, and Jessica Lynne was born on 12 January 2010.
Wilson’s younger brother, Stefan, is also a racing driver. In 2009, Stefan joined the Indy Lights Series for its street and road course events, the support series to IndyCar. Stefan made his first IndyCar start in the 2013 Grand Prix of Baltimore driving alongside Justin for Dale Coyne Racing. It was the first time brothers had raced in IndyCar as teammates since Gary Bettenhausen and Tony Bettenhausen, Jr. in 1983
In a statement his family said he was a «loving father and devoted husband, as well as a highly competitive racing driver who was respected by his peers».
An Andretti Autosport team statement said: «He was a tremendous racer, a valuable member of the team and respected representative to our sport. While Justin was only part of the Andretti line-up for a short time, it only took a second for him to forever become part of the Andretti family.
«His life and racing career is a story of class and passion surpassed by none.»