IndyCar driver Justin Wilson dead
English driver Justin Wilson was declared dead after suffering a severe head injury during an IndyCar race in Pennsylvania, plunging the sport into mourning and triggering calls for a review of safety measures.
Wilson, 37, had been in a coma since Sunday, when a large piece of debris from another racer s car struck his helmet on the final laps of the "Tricky Triangle" of Pocono Raceway in the penultimate race of the season. Friends and loved ones of the Sheffield-born racer had flown to be at his bedside at Lehigh Valley Health Network Cedar Crest Hospital in Allentown earlier Monday before his death was announced.
"This is a monumentally sad day for IndyCar and the motorsports community as a whole," said Mark Miles, chief executive of the parent company which runs IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "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."
Wilson s younger brother Stefan, also a racing driver, paid tribute on Twitter. "Can t even begin to describe the loss I feel right now. He was my Brother, my best friend, my role model and mentor. He was a champion!" he wrote. "I often told him, I just want to grow up to be half the man he is, as that will make me a pretty good man." Andretti Autosport team also paid tribute, describing Wilson as a "tremendous racer, a valuable member of the team." "We are deeply saddened by the passing of Justin Wilson," Andretti Autosport said in a statement.