Justin Wilson succumbs to Pocono injuries

Popular British driver Justin Wilson has died from the head injuries he suffered during Sunday’s Verizon IndyCar race at Pocono Raceway.

The thirty-seven-year-old was hit by the nose section of Sage Karam’s car after the young American had lost control and hit the wall at high-speed on lap 180, with Wilson’s Andretti Autosport machine then hitting the inside barrier as a result.

Safety crews were on the scene almost immediately, with Wilson being airlifted to Lehigh Valley Health Network Cedar Crest Hospital with severe head injuries. On Monday afternoon he passed away without regaining consciousness.

“With deep sadness, the parents of Justin Wilson, Keith and Lynne, his wife Julia, and his brother Stefan share the news that Justin passed away today after succumbing to injuries suffered during the Verizon IndyCar event at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, August 23,” said a statement from the Wilson family.

“Justin was a loving father and devoted husband, as well as a highly competitive racing driver who was respected by his peers.

“The family would like to thank the staff at the Lehigh Valley Health Network Cedar Crest Hospital, Pocono Raceway, Andretti Autosport, and the Verizon IndyCar Series as well as the entire racing community for the amazing outpouring of support from fans around the world.”

Wilson had been racing in America since the 2004 Champ Car season, before moving into the IndyCar series in 2008 when Champ Car merged with IndyCar. He won races for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and Dale Coyne Racing, and had joined Andretti Autosport this season on a part-time contract, and was set to see out the season with the team before fate intervened.

The Briton had previously raced in Formula 1 in 2003, racing part of the year for the Minardi team before switching to Jaguar Racing, scoring a point in the United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis.

He also chalked up a sportscar victory with Michael Shank Racing as he joined AJ Allmendinger, Oswaldo Negri and John Pew to win the 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Everyone at The Checkered Flag offers their heartfelt condolences to the Wilson family, in particular his wife Julia, their two children and his brother Stefan, to his friends, to the IndyCar community and to the motorsport fraternity after the passing of this likeable, talented driver. RIP Justin Wilson.