Stefan Wilson took a step closer to realising his dream of competing in the historic 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 with a renewable energy twist.
The American Solar Energy Society has announced that it will sponsor Wilson in his attempt to race at Indianapolis on 29 May, as the Briton attempts for his entry to feature the first solar-powered pit crew and introduce Verizon IndyCar Series teams and fans to the benefits of solar energy through his #ThinkSolar campaign.
"This endorsement by ASES is a really exciting development and validation of the #ThinkSolar campaign's vision," Wilson said, "They've helped shape an industry that's committed to solving many of the energy challenges we face today. Together, we'll strive to invigorate conversations around commonplace solar applications as well as the design and engineering innovations that will drive the future of renewable energy for this sport and the world."
Aligning with Wilson's #ThinkSolar campaign is ASES' attempt to further its mission to 'inspire an era of energy innovation and speed the transition to a sustainable energy economy'. Among the ideas under consideration in the Verizon IndyCar Series are solar-powered timing stands in pit-lane, lighting and charging stations.
"We think Stefan's #ThinkSolar campaign is a great way to get solar in front of people in a new way," said Carly Rixham, ASES' executive director, "There is already some solar in the race car industry. In fact, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has a nine megawatt solar farm nearby with 39,312 solar panels. Now, bringing solar onto the track will increase the visibility of the technology with a diverse audience. It's an honour to support Stefan and his earnest interest to reduce environmental impact."
Wilson has competed in one Verizon IndyCar Series race, as Baltimore in 2013, but finished third in the 2011 Indy Lights championship. The 26-year old is the younger brother of the late Justin Wilson, with whom he teamed at Dale Coyne Racing for that Baltimore race.