Archive for August, 2015

WilsonChildrensFund-Aug2015

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Will Power exits the Turn 9A chicane complex during qualifications for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway - Image by Shawn Gritzmacher

Will Power exits the Turn 9A chicane complex during qualifications for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway – Image by Shawn Gritzmacher

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Sonoma, California (Aug. 29, 2015) – Reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Will Power reset his year-old track record in the Firestone Fast Six to earn the Verizon P1 Award and pace 4 of 6 championship contenders who will start on the first three rows for the title-deciding GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.

Driving the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevy, this is the 4th track record broken by Power this season and the 6th track record broken in 2015 following the introduction of aerokits by Chevrolet and Honda.

Three rounds of qualifications set the 25-car grid for the 85-lap race August 30th (1 p.m. PT/4 p.m. ET on NBCSN) that carries double base points along with bonus points for the pole (one point), leading a lap (one) and leading the most laps (two).

Sonoma Qual Results

Power claimed his 6th pole start of the season and 42nd of his career, 5th on the all-time Indy car list.

“I’m really stoked. I love qualifying and (am) very happy to end the year with a pole position,” said Power, a three-time winner at Sonoma Raceway who has started from the pole five times in the past six years for this race. “Lots of points on the table; we’ll go for that win. Basically, we were just going to do two one-lap runs on the used reds, but Newgarden went out and put a pretty good time up, so we had no choice but to use the new blacks at the end there. It was the obvious choice at the end but I had to work for it.”

Juan Pablo Montoya, in the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, has stood atop the standings since winning the season opener March 29 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., and holds a 34-point lead over Graham Rahal of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. Montoya’s most direct path to his second Indy car title – separated by 16 years – is to finish first or second. The other contenders’ script also is clear.

Juan Pablo Montoya crests the Turn 2 hill during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway - Image by Chris Jones

Juan Pablo Montoya crests the Turn 2 hill during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway – Image by Chris Jones

“Win. That’s the best-case scenario,” said Rahal, who advanced to the Firestone Fast Six qualifying format used on all Verizon IndyCar Series road and street courses for the first time since Twin Ring Motegi in 2011. “We finish third, fourth, fifth (in the race), it becomes obviously a bit more difficult because you’re banking on Juan finishing 12th or worse. I don’t think that’s likely.”

Josef Newgarden, a two-time race winner this season, earned his 2nd front-row start in the 16 races this season. “Getting pole would’ve helped a lot more. It is worth points and it’s double points this weekend,” said Newgarden, driving the No. 67 GoPro CFH Racing Chevrolet. “We’ve got a really good car. We’re hoping to have a good race. It starts with qualifying and we did a pretty decent job there. If we keep clean, we have a shot at winning that thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay, who has won two of the past three races in the No. 28 DHL Andretti Autosport Honda, qualified a season-high third. He’ll share Row 2 with Simon Pagenaud in the No. 22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet.

Here is where the remaining title contenders qualified (with championship standings position and points behind leader in parentheses):

  • First — Will Power (fourth, -61 points), 1:16.2597 best lap, Firestone Fast Six (track record);
  • Second — Josef Newgarden (sixth, -87 points), 1:16.3964 best lap, Firestone Fast Six;
  • Fifth — Juan Pablo Montoya (first), 1:16.6631 best lap, Round 2; 1:16.8437 Firestone Fast Six;
  • Sixth — Graham Rahal (second, -34 points), 1:16.6435 best lap, Round 2; 1:17.1769 Firestone Fast Six;
  • Ninth — Scott Dixon (third, -47 points), 1:16.7365 best lap, Round 1;
  • 15th — Helio Castroneves (fifth, -77 points), 1:17.2550 best lap, Round 1.

This marks the 10th consecutive season that the Verizon IndyCar Series champion will be decided in the final race.

WilsonChildrensFund-Aug2015

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Date: Sunday, August 30, 2015

Track: Sonoma Raceway, a 2.385-mile permanent road course in Sonoma, California

Race Distance: 85 laps / 202.7 miles

PushtoPass Parameters: 10 activations for 15 seconds each

Firestone Tire Allotment: Seven sets primary – three sets alternate for use through the weekend

Twitter: @RaceSonoma @IndyCar, #IndyCar, #GoProGP

Event Website: www.RaceSonoma.com

INDYCAR Website: www.IndyCar.com

2014 Race Winner: Scott Dixon

2014 Verizon P1 Award Winner: Will Power, 1 minute, 17.4126 seconds, 110.912 mph

Onelap Qualifying Record: Will Power, 1:17.2393 seconds, 111.161 mph, 8/23/2014 (R1 Qualifying)

NBCSN Television Broadcasts: Race, 4 p.m. ET Sunday, Aug. 30 (live). Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer, alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy. Pit reporters are Marty Snider, Kevin Lee, Katie Hargitt and Robin Miller.

Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network Broadcasts: Paul Page is chief announcer with analyst Davey Hamilton. Pit reporters are Dave Furst, Nick Yeoman and Michael Young, with Mark Jaynes and Jake Query serving as the turn announcers. Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying and races air live on network affiliates, Sirius 212, XM 209, IndyCar.com, IndyCarRadio.com and the INDYCAR 15 app.

Video Streaming: Practice sessions not televised are available live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com

INDYCAR 15 app: The Verizon INDYCAR 15 app has exclusive features for Verizon Wireless customers, including interactive 3D Live View with real-time leaderboard and car telemetry to see where drivers are positioned, a leaderboard with enhanced 2D “marching ants” and car telemetry, in-car camera video streams from cameras that move 360 degrees and driver-pit crew chatter during the race.

AtTrack Schedule (all times local):

Sunday August 30th
10-10:30am – Verizon IndyCar Series warmup
1pm – NBCSN on air
2:07pm – GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (85 laps/202.7 miles), NBCSN (live)

Sonoma Entry List B  8-26

Championship Facts:

Juan Pablo Montoya leads the Indy car championship with one race remaining for the first time in his career. He trailed Dario Franchitti with one race remaining in the 1999 CART season when he claimed his first Indy car championship.

• Montoya leads Graham Rahal by 34 points. Montoya has led the championship since winning the opening round of the championship at St. Petersburg in March.

• There are six drivers still mathematically eligible for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship: Montoya, Rahal, Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves, Will Power and Josef Newgarden. Three drivers – Montoya, Dixon and Power – have previously won Indy car titles.

• Four drivers – Sebastien Bourdais, Marco Andretti, Tony Kanaan and Simon Pagenaud – were eliminated from championship contention at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 23.

• This is the 12th Indy car race at Sonoma. The winning driver at Sonoma has won the championship once in the prior 11 races (Franchitti, 2009).

Race Notes:

* There have been nine different winners in 15 Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2015: Juan Pablo Montoya (Streets of St. Petersburg and Indianapolis 500), James Hinchcliffe (NOLA Motorsports Park), Scott Dixon (Streets of Long Beach and Texas Motor Speedway), Josef Newgarden (Barber Motorsports Park and Streets of Toronto), Will Power (Grand Prix of Indianapolis), Carlos Munoz (Raceway at Belle Isle-1), Sebastien Bourdais (Raceway at Belle Isle-2 and Milwaukee), Graham Rahal (Auto Club Speedway and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (Iowa Speedway and Pocono Raceway). In 2014, there were a record-tying 11 different race winners. Dixon’s win at Long Beach on April 19 gave him sole possession of fifth on the all-time Indy car victory list with 36. He is the active leader in wins with 37 after his victory at Texas on June 6.

* The GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma will be the 10th road/street course race of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule with a different driver winning eight of the previous nine races: Montoya (Streets of St. Petersburg), Hinchcliffe (NOLA Motorsports Park), Dixon (Streets of Long Beach), Newgarden (Barber Motorsports Park and Toronto), Power (Grand Prix of Indianapolis), Munoz (Raceway at Belle Isle-1), Bourdais (Raceway at Belle Isle-2) and Rahal (Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course).

* The GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma will be the 12th Indy car race at Sonoma Raceway. Dixon is the defending race winner. Power has won four of the last five pole positions. This will be the fourth race on the 12-turn, 2.385-mile layout. The Verizon IndyCar Series competed on a 12-turn, 2.303-mile layout from 2005-2011.

* Power and Dixon are the only drivers to win at Sonoma more than once, Dixon won the race in 2007 and 2014, Power won the races in 2010, 2011and 2013. Past winners Dixon, Power, Ryan Briscoe (2012), Helio Castroneves (2008), Marco Andretti (2006) and Tony Kanaan (2005) are entered in this year’s race.

* Dan Gurney won the first Indy car race at Sonoma under USAC sanction in 1970. Mark Donohue was the pole sitter.

* There have been five different pole winners in the previous 10 Verizon IndyCar Series races at Sonoma. Briscoe (2005), Dixon (2006), Dario Franchitti (2007, 2009, 2013), Castroneves (2008) and Power (2010-12 and 2014). All but Franchitti are entered at Sonoma this weekend.

* Three drivers have won the race from the pole – Castroneves (2008), Franchitti (2009) and Power (2010-11).

* Three drivers have competed in every Verizon IndyCar Series race at Sonoma – Castroneves, Dixon and Kanaan. Dixon is the only driver to complete every lap of every race at Sonoma.

* Power has three wins and four poles in his five previous starts at Sonoma.

* Briscoe has four podium finishes in nine previous starts at Sonoma.

* Team Penske has won at Sonoma five times, including four of the last five races with Will Power (2010-11 and 2013) and Ryan Briscoe (2012). Chip Ganassi Racing has won three times at Sonoma (Dixon in 2007 and 2014 and Franchitti in 2009) and Andretti Autosport has won twice (Kanaan in 2005 and Andretti in 2006).

* With its next Verizon IndyCar Series victory, Chip Ganassi Racing will earn its 100th Indy car race win.

* Kanaan seeks to start his 249th consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Teammate Dixon looks to make his 190th consecutive start this weekend.

* The 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season marked the competition debut of aerodynamic bodywork kits designed, manufactured and supplied by Chevrolet and Honda that attach to the Dallara IR-12 chassis used by all entrants. Cars are differentiated by their shape as the manufacturers have designed a separate aero kit specification for road and street course/short ovals and another for superspeedways. References to the cars incorporate the name of the corresponding kit manufacturer.

Roger Penske speaks from the Winner's Circle after being inducted into the Sonoma Raceway Hall Of Fame - Image by Richard Dowdy

Roger Penske speaks from the Winner’s Circle after being inducted into the Sonoma Raceway Hall Of Fame – Image by Richard Dowdy

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Roger Penske is a firm believer in the strength of the team, and as owner of the most prolific organization in Indy car history, he should know. That’s why, while being inducted to the Sonoma Raceway Wall of Fame today, Penske felt compelled to have a recently departed favorite member of the Verizon IndyCar Series team share the honor.

As the plaque bearing his name and likeness was unveiled in Victory Lane, Penske asked Steve Page, Sonoma Raceway’s president and general manager, to have Justin Wilson‘s name inscribed on it, too, before the plaque is posted with those of other wall of fame members behind the track’s main grandstand.

“I wouldn’t let this day go by without having his name on that plaque with me,” Penske said of the 37-year-old driver who died August 24th from a head injury sustained the day before at Pocono Raceway, “because he’s one of the great guys. We lose a great friend and a competitor, and we need to honor him also.”

Penske was inducted by Sonoma Raceway for his lifelong contributions to motorsports, in many ways.

“I can’t think of anybody who is more deserving,” track president Page said, “either for their record here at Sonoma or for the body of work that you look at in the motor racing industry. From someone who competed and raced here – and Roger just reminded me he won the Trans Am championship here in ’69 – who built cars, who built engines, who built racetracks. Who has brought corporate America to a sport that is very dependent on sponsorship, and has really elevated this industry in ways that I don’t think any other individual can lay claim to.”

Penske owned the Chevrolet Camaro that Mark Donohue drove to the 1969 Trans Am title at Sonoma, two years before Donohue delivered the first of what is now a record 178 Indy car race wins for the team – including 16 at the Indianapolis 500. Team Penske competed in its 700th Indy car race last weekend at Pocono.

“Everything you do, you kind of look back and say, ‘Wow!'” Penske said. “There’s no question, if you add it all up, it’s been a terrific run for us. I remember when we won the Trans Am championship back in the ’60s, it was one of the biggest days of our career. It’s ironic that we’re here tomorrow to try to win the Indy car championship again.”

Roger Penske is inducted into the Sonoma Raceway Hall Of Fame - Image by Richard Dowdy

Roger Penske is inducted into the Sonoma Raceway Hall Of Fame – Image by Richard Dowdy

Will Power apexes Turn 9A during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway -- Image by Chris Jones for IndyCar

Will Power apexes Turn 9A during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway – Image by Chris Jones

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Sonoma, California (August 28, 2015) – Three of the six Verizon IndyCar Series championship contenders were among the top five on the speed chart in the initial practice session for the title-deciding GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma on August 30th.

Reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Will Power’s year-old track record of 1 minute, 17.2393 seconds, set in qualifications on the 2.385-mile, 12-turn road course, will be challenged in the three rounds of qualifying Aug. 29.

Power, who is fourth in the standings, recorded the quickest lap of 1:17.4858 today in the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.

“It was the first time we got to try the new (Firestone primary) tire. Basically on a long run, it definitely degrades a lot. I think that will create good racing,” said Power, who has won three times and added a second-place finish in the past five years at Sonoma Raceway. “It was a good session, but tomorrow, obviously, really counts.

“We’re in a good window. Just go home, study and have a look and see if we can make good changes, see if we can go a little faster.”

Graham Rahal heads toward Turn 10 during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway - Image by John Cote

Graham Rahal heads toward Turn 10 during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma – Image by John Cote

American Graham Rahal, who is 34 points behind championship front-runner Juan Pablo Montoya entering the season finale, was 0.1326 of a second off the top lap time in the No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. Rahal’s assessment on the session: “I think it was a good start for us. The beginning of the session, we weren’t very good. We made some changes from the test and we were struggling pretty bad there. At the end of the day, we got the car turned around. The guys made some big changes. The guys did an excellent job back in the garage and got it turned really quickly. We went out there and it was miles better. We put a solid lap in there. We were on another one that was four tenths up on that one, but caught (Stefano) Coletti. The car seems good, it seems competitive, seems consistent. As Will (Power) talked about earlier today, it would be nice to start up front, but who knows what can happen. It’s going to be a long race.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay, who has won two of the past three Verizon IndyCar Series races in the No. 28 DHL Honda for Andretti Autosport, was third (1:17.6423). Three-time series champion Scott Dixon, who is fourth in the standings, was also fourth in practice (1:17.7937) in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.

Montoya, driving the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, will chase his second career Indy car championship in the 85-lap race that features double base points in addition to the usual four bonus points available for earning the Verizon P1 Award (one point) in the three rounds of qualifying, leading a lap (one point) and leading the most race laps (two points).

He recorded a best lap of 1:18.0901 in today’s practice, ninth quick in the 3-hour, 30-minute session. Four different teams were represented in the top five and the top 10 were separated by six-tenths of a second.

“I think we’ve been doing everything we need to put ourselves in this position,” said Montoya, who has stood atop the standings since winning the opener March 29 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., to start his second Indy car season after a 14-year absence.

“It’s been a very cool year,” he said. “We had our struggles last year. We won a race and everything, but we struggled most of the year. So we did a little work over the winter to get where we needed to be. We’ve been really good all year.”

Helio Castroneves, who was seventh on the practice time chart, and Josef Newgarden, who posted the 13th-quickest lap time, also are eligible for the title.

“Whatever is going to happen is going to happen with double points,” Montoya added.

SON indycar-results-p1-1

Montoya Chasers Know What They Must Do

The six drivers mathematically eligible for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship heading into the race gathered to meet with media today before the practice session. While all five drivers trailing leader Juan Pablo Montoya realize their chances are slim, none are giving up.

“If there’s a chance, it’s possible,” said Helio Castroneves, driver of the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, who’s fifth in points and trails Montoya by 77. “That’s exactly the mentality we have.”

All of the contenders chasing Montoya know the script is simple: Each pretty much must win the 85-lap race Aug. 30 and hope Montoya doesn’t fare well.

“That’s the best-case scenario,” said Graham Rahal, 34 points behind Montoya in second place. “We finish third, fourth, fifth (in the race), it becomes obviously a bit more difficult because you’re banking on Juan finishing 12th or worse. I don’t think that’s likely. We’re going to go out there this weekend and do the best we can and try to get a win.”

Will Power is the defending series champion, but knows what must happen if he has any hope of a repeat.

“Basically, I have to win, I need to get the bonus points,” said Power, 61 points behind Montoya in fourth place. “These other guys have to have a really bad day. It’s obviously kind of a longshot, you could say, when you’re relying on someone to have a bad day, but it’s still mathematically possible.”

Power, Montoya and Castroneves all drive for Team Penske and make up half of the contenders’ field. When asked if there were any team orders this weekend, Power quipped: “Don’t take your teammate out. If it’s not your teammate, take the others out, all of them.”

Servia Honored to Drive No. 25 Car in Wilsons Memory

Oriol Servia being fitted in the #25 Car for the GoPro -- Image by Shawn Gritzmacher

Oriol Servia being fitted in the No. 25 Andretti Autosport Honda – Image by Shawn Gritzmacher

Verizon IndyCar Series veteran Oriol Servia is driving the No. 25 Andretti Autosport Honda in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma this weekend in tribute to Justin Wilson, who succumbed to a head injury Aug. 24 sustained in the race Aug. 23 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.

“Justin was a true racer and advocate to our sport,” said team owner Michael Andretti. “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.”

Servia, a close friend of Wilson, said it will be a difficult role but he’s honored, too. He is slated to make his 197th career Indy car start.

“It’s hard for the words to come out the right way,” Servia said. “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.”

Stefan Wilson, Justin’s younger brother, spoke for the family in applauding Servia being named to drive the No. 25 car.

“As a family, we cannot imagine a better person to race in Justin’s honor than Oriol,” said Stefan Wilson. “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.”

Karam Finds Comfort with Racing Family at Track

Sage Karam being interviewed during a press conference at Sonoma Raceway -- Image by: Chris Jones

Sage Karam being interviewed during a press conference at Sonoma Raceway — Image by: Chris Jones

Verizon IndyCar Seriesrookie Sage Karam said nothing in the onboard telemetry or video can point to why his Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet spun in Turn 1 of Lap 180 of the ABC Supply 500 on Aug. 23 and made heavy contact with the SAFER Barrier.

The crash, while Karam was leading the 200-lap race, scattered debris on the Pocono Raceway racetrack. A section of the front wing assembly bounced off the asphalt racing surface several times and struck driver Justin Wilson, who was trailing the incident by several seconds. Wilson, driving the No. 25 Andretti Autosport Honda, succumbed to a head injury Aug. 24.

“We looked into the data and I did nothing different from the laps before. I was actually in the lead for a few laps, so the clean air didn’t catch me by surprise or anything,” Karam said today at Sonoma Raceway. “I made a few adjustments two laps before to give the car a little bit more understeer. Nothing popped out, nothing on the car broke. I didn’t hit the apron. It was a late-corner spin, and when it went, it went fast.”

Karam, 20, of Nazareth, Pa., is attending the championship-deciding race this weekend but was not scheduled to drive. Sebastian Saavdera is driving the No. 8 AFS Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet on the 2.385-mile, 12-turn road course.

Karam said he’s been working with a psychologist this week. He visited with Wilson’s younger brother, Stefan, at the hospital and they have remained in touch this week.

“This isn’t a good week for racing, losing such a great guy. It’s been tough on me, but the main thing is Justin’s family,” Karam said. “I can’t imagine what they’re going through.

“I had questions about coming to this race, whether I needed to or not. But it’s always good to be around the racing family because these are the people who are closest to me and will be able to pick me up when I need to be picked up. Being around my teammates and the crew and all the fans out here has been good so far.

“I don’t think there’s any comfort in this but it was such a freak accident. At night, you’re (in bed) looking at the ceiling and saying, ‘What if I didn’t spin?’ And that’s the toughest thing.”

Justin Wilson and GirlsINDIANAPOLIS, Friday, August 28, 2015 – INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway encourage racing fans to make donations to a new fund established to support the family of Justin Wilson. Donations to the Wilson Children’s Fund can be made online at www.wilsonchildrensfund.com or sent to the following address:

Wilson Children’s Fund
c/o Forum Credit Union
P.O. Box 50738
Indianapolis, IN 46250-0738
317-558-6000

“Justin Wilson gave so much to his teammates, fellow drivers and INDYCAR fans,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co., the parent of INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “The best way for the racing community to show our appreciation and preserve his legacy is to express our unwavering support for his children, wife and family members during this heartbreaking time. I encourage fans across the nation to donate to the Wilson Children’s Fund.”

“Justin Wilson was a beloved and admired member of our INDYCAR family who touched the lives of countless individuals both stateside and in the United Kingdom,” said J. Douglas Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president. “I encourage fans to make donations in his honor to the Wilson Children’s Fund. I know Hoosiers will do their part in lending a helping hand to Justin’s loved ones during this very difficult time.”

If you previously sent a donation to INDYCAR, it will be forwarded to the new address. All donations will be kept confidential.

In addition, commemorative decals and T-shirts are available at shop.ims.com, with proceeds going directly to the Wilson Children’s Fund.

Wilson, who enjoyed success in multiple motorsports series during a two-decade professional career, died Monday from a head injury suffered in the Verizon IndyCar Series race August 23rd at Pocono Raceway. He was 37.

Justin Wilson  RIP

— Justin Wilson —

NO. 25 HONDA INDYCAR TO RACE AT SONOMA RACEWAY IN TRIBUTE OF JUSTIN WILSON — 

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SONOMA, California (August 27, 2015) – Verizon IndyCar Series team Andretti Autosport announced today that the No. 25 Honda of Justin Wilson will race this weekend at Sonoma Raceway to honor the late driver. Wilson passed away earlier this week following injuries sustained during the series event at Pocono Raceway on Sunday.

“Justin was a true racer and advocate to our sport,” said team owner Michael Andretti. “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.”

IndyCar Series veteran Oriol Servia, Wilson’s close friend, will now have the responsibility of driving the No. 25 Andretti Autosport entry, formerly piloted by Wilson, at Sonoma. “This is the most difficult quote I have ever had to come up with. 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.”

logo-hpdAdditionally, 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 of the Honda entries competing 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, Indiana  46250-0738

*Contributions already sent to c/o INDYCAR will be forwarded on …

United Kingdom-based supporters who wish to send cards and other condolences to Justin’s family are welcome to use the address below:

Keith Wilson c/o Lisa Davis
PalmerSport
The Old Post Office
Worthing Road
Southwater
West Sussex
RH13 9EZ

Additionally, commemorative decals and T-shirts honoring Wilson, with all proceeds going directly to the Wilson Children’s Fund, are now available from: http://shop.ims.com/indycar/drivers/justin-wilson/

The GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network Sunday at 4 p.m. ET.


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