Justin Wilson escaped uninjured from a crash during a one-day Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing test at Kentucky Speedway on Thursday, and suggested that the accident had been the result of a mechanical failure.
Wilson was participating in NHLR's first oval test since it ran at Homestead-Miami Speedway at the start of the season, and making his first appearance at the 1.5-mile circuit where fellow Briton Dario Franchitti suffered the second of his two flips last season. He had completed an installation run and a subsequent pit-stop to analyse the car, and was near the end of his first run when he lost control of the #02 McDonalds car between turns one and two, making contact with the turn two wall.
"I had run about eight or nine laps and was just up to speed, and suddenly I felt the car straightening out,” the Edmonton podium finisher reported, "It no longer went where I was steering. I'm not sure what broke, but I had no steering and I was heading straight into the wall.”
The car, a new chassis which had made its racing debut at Watkins Glen, sustained a substantial amount of damage and is unlikely to be repaired in time for the Meijer Indy 300 at Kentucky on 9 August. The other McDonald's car was being driven at the test by team-mate Graham Rahal, while his own car was being repaired after taking two separate hits at the Rexall Indy last weekend.
“I'm disappointed because we didn't get any testing done and there is a lot of damage to my good race car that we had determined would be my road racing car,” Wilson added, “The plan was initially not to run it here, or on the ovals in general, and keep it as good as possible, but Graham's only car was damaged in Edmonton so he had to use my oval car at the test while his is being repaired. The new car was already proving to be faster and I was enjoying it - but it didn't last for long.”