SONOMA, Calif. – Andretti Autosport will pay tribute to Justin Wilson with his JW logo and #BadAssWilson nickname and hashtag adorning the team’s No. 25 Honda, which will run in this weekend’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.
“Justin was a true racer and advocate to our sport,” team owner Michael Andretti said in a release. “We will have Justin and his family in our hearts this weekend as we honor him in the way he would want us to, by doing what he loved – racing.”
The team announced that Oriol Servia, one of Wilson’s longtime friends and on-track competitors, will take the reins of the car. Wilson, 37, died on Monday from a severe head injury sustained at Pocono Raceway last week.
“This is the most difficult quote I have ever had to come up with,” Servia said in the release. “The situation is so difficult on so many levels for obvious reasons that it’s hard for the words to come out the right way. I have known and raced Justin for more than 10 years. I have an enormous amount of respect for him as a racer, but his qualities as a human were definitely an inspiration to anyone who ever met him.
“As I said earlier this week, I truly feel he was one of these souls who has evolved a lot more than the rest of us, and it is something you could feel immediately during your first exchange with him. He will be greatly missed as we all try to emulate his spirit. I am honored and emotional with the opportunity of driving his car this weekend. I want to thank my friends at Andretti Autosport for the opportunity, and I want to express how deeply touched I am by the desire of Julia, Stefan and all the Wilson family to have me driving the No. 25. ”
“As a family, we cannot imagine a better person to race in Justin’s honor than Oriol (Servia),” said Stefan Wilson, brother to Justin and fellow IndyCar driver. “His path and Justin’s crossed in many different ways through the years. As a competitor, and also as a person, he carries Justin’s spirit well, and we know that Justin would approve.”
The No. 25 car was brought to Sonoma anyway this week, and was featured prominently in today’s Wilson motorcade tribute across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Marco Andretti was driving.
Servia has made one prior start this season, with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in that team’s second car at the Indianapolis 500.
This will also mark his first start with Andretti in his career. Servia, the 41-year-old veteran who has raced in the top level of North American open-wheel racing every year but one since 2000, has previously raced with 11 other teams. Andretti marks the 12th different team he’s driven for.
Servia has written several messages paying tribute to Wilson this week, linked below.
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I used to call him Maddog. He had this crazy ability to follow you so close behind defining aerodynamics that it seemed he was biting on your rear tire! , like that Maddog that won't release the ball he is biting on. Justin was a master at the art of racing. A drivers inspiration.
A list of Servia’s past teams:
- PPI Motorsports 2000
- Sigma Autosport 2001
- PWR Championship Racing 2002
- Patrick Racing 2002-03
- Dale Coyne Racing 2004-05
- Newman/Haas, Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing 2005, 2009, 2011
- PKV Racing, KV Racing Technology 2006-08
- Forsythe Championship Racing 2007
- Rahal Letterman, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 2009, 2014-15
- Dreyer & Reinbold Racing/Panther DRR 2012-13
- Panther Racing 2013
WILSON TRIBUTE/DONATION INFORMATION
Additionally, American Honda Motor Company, Inc., and Honda Performance Development today announced a contribution to the Wilson Children’s Fund based on laps completed by all Honda entries in this weekend’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma Verizon IndyCar Series season finale at Sonoma Raceway.
The Wilson Children’s Fund was established this week to benefit the surviving daughters of Honda IndyCar driver Justin Wilson and his wife, Julia.
American Honda and HPD will contribute $50 per lap completed at Sonoma by each of the 13 Honda entries at this weekend’s race for a possible donation of just over $55,000 to the Wilson Children’s Fund.
“Justin was a valuable member of our racing program, but he also was our friend, and all of us at American Honda and HPD grieve together at his loss,” said Art St. Cyr, president of Honda Performance Development. “We’re hoping to honor his memory with this pledge, and hope that Justin’s many fans and friends can also assist the family at this tragic time.”
For anyone wishing to contribute to the Wilson Children’s Fund, please mail donations to:
Wilson Children’s Fund
c/o Forum Credit Union
PO Box 50738
Indianapolis, IN 46250-0738
*Contributions already sent to c/o INDYCAR will be forwarded on
U.K.-based supporters who wish to send cards and other condolences to Justin’s family may use the address below:
Keith Wilson c/o Lisa Davis
The Old Post Office
Additionally, commemorative decals and T-shirts honoring Wilson, with all proceeds going directly to the Wilson Children’s Fund, are now available from:
The GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network Sunday at 4 p.m. ET.