| Career Overview
| Race CV
| Right Here, Right Now
Justin Wilson, winner of the 2012 Rolex 24 At Daytona and established IndyCar star, is one of Britain's most talented racing drivers. His elevation to the top of global open wheel racing followed his domination of the 2001 FIA International F3000 Championship. Justin proved without question his immense talent behind the wheel of a racing car against both a truly international and highly talented field in 2001. By becoming the first ever Briton to win the F3000 title, the proving ground to Formula One prior to GP2, Justin has triumphed where illustrious names such as Damon Hill, David Coulthard and Allan McNish have failed. Not only did Justin lead the 2001 Championship from the opening round, he finished the season with a points tally that broke Williams F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya’s record for points in a season as well as setting a new record for number of podium finishes in a season, 10 from 12 races. Justin’s career path was then given a boost when in October 2001 he was invited to test with the Jordan F1 team at Silverstone. Proving a match for the team’s star driver Jean Alesi, Justin was subsequently invited to test again with the Silverstone based squad.
Following his success in the International F3000 Championship, Justin was invited to compete for Racing-Engineering in the inaugural 2002 Telefonica Nissan World Series. Whilst competing in Spain Justin continued to attract the interest of F1 team bosses and narrowly missed out on an F1 seat with Minardi in the second half of the season, as the PS02 chassis was too small for Justin’s 6’3 frame! Justin did however enjoy a test in the 2001 PSO1 at Donington in August.
In December 2002 Paul Stoddart officially signed Justin to the Minardi F1 team and in March 2003 the Yorkshire-born racer finally enjoyed the opportunity to line up on the same grid as Schumacher, Montoya and Villeneuve in the FIA Formula One Championship. With some stunning performances from the back of the grid, Wilson regularly launched his Minardi PS03 up the order in the opening laps to humble more experienced competitors and teams.
Justin's performances impressed many paddock insiders and in July 2003, immediately following the British Grand Prix, he was signed by Jaguar Racing to complete the remainder of the season alongside his former F3000 sparring partner Mark Webber, the rookie going on to score his first F1 World Championship point at the U.S. Grand Prix.
While the Jaguar Racing team was keen to retain Justin for 2004, the financial crisis that affected many teams in F1 in recent years required Justin to bring vast levels of sponsorship to continue in the series. A keen follower of open wheel racing in the United States, and having tested previously for Newman-Haas, Justin naturally looked across the Atlantic for alternative opportunities in 2004. A drive became available with the ambitious Mi-Jack Conquest Racing squad, owned by former driver Eric Bachelart and Mike Lanigan of Mi-Jack Products, which debuted in the series in 2003. Chris Mower, the team manager, had also managed the Nordic Racing International F3000 team that took Justin to the title in 2001 and Justin and Mi-Jack Conquest gelled remarkably quickly.
In his first Champ Car season, Justin qualified in the top ten in 10 out of the 14 events, including a front row start at Cleveland, and two other top three qualifying positions. He scored 8 top ten finishes and rounded out the season by qualifying third and finishing fourth at Mexico City. Overall, his debut Champ Car season attracted great interest, as he challenged the established Newman-Haas and Forsythe Racing teams on several occasions.
In November 2004 Justin signed for RuSPORT. Like Justin, the RuSPORT team had also impressed on its debut season in the Series, helping A.J. Allmendinger to the Rookie of the Year title. Justin featured consistently amongst the front-runners in 2005. He reached the top step of the podium in Toronto to register his and RuSPORT's first Champ Car win, was 3rd in Montreal, and took a commanding victory in the season finale in Mexico City, as well as a further five 4th place finishes at Long Beach, Monterrey, Milwaukee, Edmonton and San Jose. His consistently strong pace earned him third place in the 2005 Champ Car World Series driver championship.
In 2006 Justin had another competitive season with RuSPORT, finishing 2nd in the championship with one win (Edmonton) and six other podium finishes out of 14 events (Long Beach, Monterrey, Milwaukee, Portland, San Jose and Mexico City).
He took pole positions at Toronto and Mexico City, and earned tributes from fans and pundits alike with his gritty drive in Mexico City while recovering from a broken wrist. His determination, passion and skill was rewarded at Champ Car's end of season banquet when he proudly received the Greg Moore Legacy Award.
Justin's 2007 season finished the same way as 2006, with 2nd in the Champ Car driver standings. After a difficult start to the season, when RuSPORT and Rocketsports were working together under the RSPORT's banner, Justin and the #9 CDW-RuSPORT team got to grips with the new Panoz DP01 Champ Car and reached the podium for the first time at Portland (2nd). Justin would later win Champ Car's inaugural race in Assen, and he notched up a further three podums at Toronto (3rd), Edmonton (2nd) and Surfers Paradise (2nd). His determination under difficult conditions during the season did not go unnoticed, and he received the Greg Moore Legacy Award for a second time at the end of season banquet.
In February 2008 Justin signed for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing to partner American driver Graham Rahal. Soon after, news broke about the re-unification of American open wheel racing. For 2008, competed in the IndyCar Series in the #2 McDonalds Newman/Haas/Lanigan entry. In his first season of IndyCar competition he recorded seven top 10 finishes and took his maiden IndyCar victory at the Raceway at Belle Isle in Detroit en route to 11th in the championship.
Following the passing of team co-owner Paul Newman and the team's struggles to raise sponsorship over the winter, Justin looked for pastures new and found a welcoming berth at Dale Coyne Racing for 2009. Working with veteran engineer Bill Pappas, Justin and the team stunned their competitors by qualifying on the front row and taking 3rd place at the season opener in St. Petersburg. Later in the season Justin provided Dale and Gail Coyne with their team's first victory at the historic Watkins Glen road course in upstate New York. Overall Justin started the season from the front row at three road/street course events and recorded three top-5 and a total of seven top-10 to finishes to take 9th in the driver standings.
In 2010 Justin signed with Dreyer and Reinbold Racing to drive its #22 Z-Line Designs entry. In his first year with the team he scored one pole position (Toronto), two podiums (2nd at St. Petersburg and Long Beach), and 6 other top-10 finishes en route to 11th in the driver standings.
The #22 car was strong on the street courses but less consistent on road courses and the ovals, though Justin particularly enjoyed leading the Indianapolis 500 for the first time before taking 7th place in his third "500". However, team-mate Mike Conway's horrific accident at Indy (from which he eventually made a full recovery) put the team on the back foot for the rest of the season. Multiple drivers took the #24 seat and overall progress was constrained as a result.
Justin re-signed with DRR for 2011, but it proved to be a year to forget. Despite some promising early qualifying performances (Justin qualified in the top-6 in the opening three events) the No. 22 car lacked the pace to run at the front in road and street course races as well as having some bad luckin terms of contact with other cars. The No. 22 car generally struggled for competitveness at oval events with Iowa the high point (finished 10th) and Texas undoubtedly the low point (finishing 17th and 21st in the double-header). Indianapolis was disappointing too (qualifying 20th, finishing 16th). The season wasn't helped by Justin breaking his wrist through contact with another car during the opening race at St. Petersburg and it ended very early - in August - during practice at Mid-Ohio. Justin ran wide during practice, bounced over an access road, but when the car landed he sustained a compression fracture in one of his vertebra. Out for three months, he was unable to drive in the final event of the season at Las Vegas where Dan Wheldon tragically died.
After several frustrating months on the sidelines, Justin is fully recovered and raring to get his 2012 season properly underway. Back with Dale Coyne Racing and re-united with engineer Bill Pappas - after Dale "put the band back together" - he's been testing the new Honda-powered Dallara DW12 IndyCar in preparation for the new season. Justin got the year off to a bang by winning the Daytona 24 Hours with Michael Shank Racing at the end of January and is hoping that he can carry some of that posititve momentum into a strong 2012 season.