Justin Wilson will replace Antonio Pizzonia in the #6 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley Daytona Prototype for this weekend’s Rolex Series Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.
Sponsorship issues for the Brazilian have led the Ohio-based team to call on the Englishman to co-drive the car with Gustavo Yacaman. The race will be Wilson second Rolex Series start of the season, having been part of the driver line-up for the team’s other car at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January.
On that occasion Wilson and the rest of the #60 rallied from several laps down after various delays to complete the overall podium. A year earlier Wilson was part of the team that gave Michael Shank Racing their first Rolex 24 win.
Wilson currently drives for Dale Coyne Racing in the Indycar Series, in which he lies ninth in points after scoring two podiums as well as a fifth place in the Indy 500. He has three career wins in the Indycar Series, including a 2009 win at Watkins Glen.
“I’m very happy to get the chance to race with Mike [Shank] again, particularly at Watkins Glen,” said Wilson, “Mike has a great group of guys so it will just be like seeing some old friends again, and we can just pick up where we left off at Daytona. I’ve never raced in the Six Hour, so this is a great opportunity. I’m grateful that Mike rang me to help him out this weekend. As a driver you love to keep busy and I am really excited about this weekend.”
“Unfortunately Antonio’s group had some sponsorship challenges, so we needed to develop a new plan for this weekend,” explained team owner Mike Shank “It is a shame, as Antonio is a true talent, and we really appreciated his efforts– he was quick right from the start for us. We are very lucky to have someone like Justin available on this short notice, and I want to thank Dale [Coyne], for letting him race with us at the Glen.”
This will not be the first time that Wilson has stepped into a race team in place of Pizzonia, having switched Formula One teams from Minardi to Jaguar mid-season in 2003, replacing Pizzonia as teammate to Mark Webber.