Justin Wilson

Justin Wilson

31/7/1978

Justin's 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, traditionally the proving ground to Formula One, 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, 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.  The team is managed by Chris Mower, who 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 to partner A.J. Allmendinger.  Like Justin, the RuSPORT team also impressed on its debut season in the Series, helping A.J. Allmendinger to the Rookie of the Year title.  Justin has featured consistently amongst the front-runners in 2005.  He reached the top step of the podium in Toronto to register his 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.

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