27 March 2015
IndyCar: Wilson to join Andretti at Indianapolis
Justin Wilson will race for Andretti Autosport at Indianapolis in May, in both the road course event and the Indianapolis 500.
Having been unable to find a full-time seat for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series, Justin Wilson has been snapped up by Andretti Autosport to drive for them in both the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 in May.
Wilson will be driving the team's fourth car, the #25 entry, putting him alongside Andretti's full-time driver line-up of Ryan Hunter-Reay, Carlos Munoz and Marco Andretti.
"I'm thrilled to be joining Andretti Autosport," said Wilson. “It's a fantastic opportunity for me and this should be a strong program. I'm looking forward to continuing my relationship with Honda and to working with Ryan, Carlos and Marco."
The announcement that the 36=year-old British driver would be joining the line-up was made on Friday morning by team owner Michael Andretti in St Petersburg in Florida, ahead of this weekend's opening round of the new IndyCar season in which the #25 will be driven by Swiss driver Simona de Silvestro in a one-off arrangement.
"Thank you to Michael for bringing me on board and giving me this great opportunity," said Wilson, who has competed in the series for the past 11 seasons and amassed seven wins, 26 podium finishes, eight pole positions and 700 laps led along the way.
"I know that the team has everything in place to do well," Wilson continued. "I'm really confident about what the group is capable of this year."
Wilson competed with Dale Coyne Racing in in the last three seasons up to 2014, but the team has announced that Francesco Dracone would replace Wilson in the team's #19 car for at least the first four races of this year, leaving Wilson without a confirmed ride in the open wheel series in 2015.
Wilson was the FIA Formula 3000 champion in 2001 before stepping up to F1 in 2003 where he earned his first FIA world championship points in the US Grand Prix. He subsequently moved to the US and signed up with the CART World Series and IndyCar championships, taking his first victory in 2005. Wilson has also stayed active in IMSA competition and won the 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona.
"We are so happy to be able to confirm Justin has joined our IndyCar program for both races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway," Michael Andretti said. “Having Justin on the team has been something we've been looking at for quite some time, so we're excited to finally make it happen.
"Adding him to the roster for the Indy races is definitely going to be something special as we work to defend our 2014 victory," he added.
Andretti added that they were still seeking a primary sponsor to support Wilson's two appearances at Indianapolis.
Whether or not the two-race deal could lead to further appearances by Wilson in the #25 remains to be seen.
"Just like Justin, we are pushing hard on that front to get her in a car for more than just this race. We're hoping we can put something together and announce something soon," Andretti said.
When Andretti announced that de Silvestro would be driving for them in this weekend's season opener in this weekend's season opener, he hinted that it may lead for further outings for the 26-year-old Swiss driver later in the year.
"She will be a great fit for the team, and hopefully we'll be able to build on the program, eventually taking it from this race to future events and maybe even a full-season relationship," the team owner had said two weeks ago. "Fans should stay connected with the team to hear more about our potential future with Simona."
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