British IndyCar driver Justin Wilson dies after crash

British racing driver Justin Wilson has died after suffering a severe head injury in Sunday's Pocono IndyCar 500 race in Pennsylvania. The ex-Formula One driver and seven-time IndyCar race winner is survived by his wife, Julia, and two daughters.

Justin, from Sheffield, was airlifted to hospital from the Pocono Raceway after debris from fellow driver Sage Karam's car hit the 37-year-old and he crashed into a wall.


In a statement confirming Justin's death, his family said that: "Justin was a loving father and devoted husband, as well as a highly competitive racing driver who was respected by his peers."

His brother Stefan, also a racing driver, paid tribute to his "best friend" on social media in several tweets. One said: "Can't even begin to describe the loss I feel right now. He was my brother, my best friend, my role model and mentor. He was a champion.

"He lived for this sport, he loved it. The only comfort I feel is that he lived a life he loved."

IndyCar officials, meanwhile, said that the death of the Andretti Autosport driver was a "monumentally sad day".

Mark Miles, chief executive of Hulman & Co, the parent company of IndyCar, said "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."

An Andretti Autosport team statement said: "He was a tremendous racer, a valuable member of the team and respected representative to our sport. While Justin was only part of the Andretti line-up for a short time, it only took a second for him to forever become part of the Andretti family.

"His life and racing career is a story of class and passion surpassed by none."

The racing world paid tribute to the driver upon learning of his death. Sage Karam, who was leading the race at the time of the crash, wrote on Twitter: "I can't find the proper words to describe the pain and sympathy I feel for Justin and his family", while F1 driver Jenson Button wrote: "The motorsport World comes 2 a standstill once again. @justin_wilson was a great person & racing driver. My thoughts are with his family RIP."

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