Tragedy has again reared its ugly head in the American open-wheel scene, with Andretti Autosports driver Justin Wilson succumbing to injuries inflicted in Sunday’s Pocono 500. He was 37 years old.
Wilson passed away with wife Julia and fellow racer and brother Stefan among family members at his bedside in Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Indycar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway Chief Executive Officer Mark Miles has addressed media this morning at the company’s headquarters in Indianapolis.
“This is a monumentally sad day for INDYCAR and the motorsports community as a whole. 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. As we know, the racing industry is one big family, and our efforts moving forward will be focused on rallying around Justin’s family to ensure they get the support they need during this unbelievably difficult time.”
The much-loved Yorkshireman became a passenger after the errant nose cone of fellow competitor Sage Karam, who had made contact with the outer wall in an unrelated accident, struck his helmet. Wilson then lost control of his car and crashed into the circuit’s interior wall at high-speed before being quickly attended to by Indycar’s Holmatro Safety Team.
His death is the first in the Indycar Series since two-time Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon lost his life in a multiple-car crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in October 2011.
The RichardsF1.com team extends its condolences to the Wilson family at this time.
Image via IndyCar Series