Justin Boyd Wilson (31/07/1978 - 24/08/2015)

F1 2003 - Brazilian GP - Minardi PS03 - Justin Wilson
Até você chegar na Fórmula 1, em 2003, eu nem te conhecia. No entanto, logo que te vi pilotar aquela tão linda quanto lenta Minardi PS03 preta e branca, logo ficou marcado em minha memória. Bateu um recorde, ainda que involuntariamente: o de piloto mais alto, com 1,93 metro de altura.

Você poderia ter sido jogador de vôlei, ou teria chances de se tornar um grande goleiro, mas não, arriscou-se no automobilismo, onde a estatura média dos pilotos é 30 cm mais baixa que você. Superou as adversidades da altura e chegou à Fórmula 1.

Pena que não pôde avançar na categoria mais importante do automobilismo mundial. Entretanto, só por ter chegado lá, já se tornou o vencedor do Grande Prêmio de sua própria vida.

Aí a CART o recebeu de braços abertos. A categoria mais veloz do automobilismo requer um trabalho aerodinâmico minucioso, mas nada que impeça um piloto de 1,93 metro acelerar nas 500 Milhas de Indianápolis na mesma "tocada" dos outros, tanto que foi vice-campeão da categoria duas vezes seguidas.

Para marcar uma carreira já vencedora, nada melhor que uma grande vitória. E ela veio nas 24 Horas de Daytona de 2012.

Justin, tu eras um privilegiado: enquanto a maioria dos pilotos tem que fazer um esforço para visualizar a pista por cima do cockpit, você enxergava tudo por cima, tinha maior visão de tudo que acontecia em volta de seu carro.

INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 24, 2015) – INDYCAR announced that driver Justin Wilson, who enjoyed success in multiple motorsports series during a two-decade professional career, died today from a head injury suffered in the Verizon IndyCar Series race Aug. 23 at Pocono Raceway. He was 37.

“This is a monumentally sad day for INDYCAR and the motorsports community as a whole,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co., the parent of INDYCAR and 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 was struck by debris from a single-car crash on Lap 180 of the 200-lap race on the 2.5-mile triangular oval. Wilson was attended to by the Holmatro Safety Team and airlifted to Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest in Allentown, Pa.

A native of Sheffield, England, Wilson recorded seven career Indy car victories – the most recent in 2012 at Texas Motor Speedway – and eight pole starts in 174 races. He totaled 711 career laps led, including two in the Aug. 23 race. He competed in Formula One in 2003 with Minardi and Jaguar, and his initial F1 points were scored that year in the U.S. Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. He co-drove a Michael Shank Racing sports car entry to the overall victory in the 50th anniversary Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2012.

Wilson, a road cycling and mountain biking enthusiast, also was an ambassador for dyslexia, a learning disorder characterized by difficulty reading that challenged him as a youth. He often would speak to groups at the racetrack and visit schools near INDYCAR race venues.

Wilson is survived by his wife, Julia, and two daughters. His younger brother Stefan is an accomplished race car driver who has competed in the Verizon IndyCar Series and Indy Lights. Funeral arrangements are pending. In lieu of flowers, a fund has been set up for Wilson children. Donations may be sent to: Wilson Children's Fund, c/o INDYCAR, 4551 W. 16th St., Indianapolis, IN 46222.

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