Justin Wilson’s time in sportscars had two eras, the mid noughties in LMP900/ LMP1 and later in the DPs of Grand-Am at Daytona, and latterly LMP2 machinery too.
Here John Brooks has dug deep into his archive to find some images of the earlier era, with some charging runs, and some eye-opening social occasions, adding to Justin’s already extensive racing cv.
In addition here’s a brief archive report from Kerry Morse of his first encounters with Justin, at the 2003 US Grand Prix.
Went for a screaming ride in a real D type around the circuit at Putnam Park. The chauffeur was some kid named Justin Wilson… ever heard of him? Claims he drives F1… he might, he and Mark Webber arrived in a helicopter while we schlepped out there in new XJR’s and S types. Who do they think they are anyway?
The race was anticlimactic, I won’t bother with the Montoya situation because I don’t want to, there was enough about that going around that it will linger for a long time. Some very unhappy people.
In the case of my hosts, it could have been better for Jaguar but it also could have been a lot worse. Justin Wilson had some big moments on a track he had never seen and in a car he does not exactly know all that well. He played it safe and brought the car home thus earning a point for Jaguar and his first ever point for himself.
What was noticed is that he gave a good account of himself, drove smart and with the amount of money that other teams might be willing to throw at Mark Webber, signing up Justin Wilson on a long term could be a good business move.
The problem is that being in F1 for Jaguar is not a good business move and never was. They belong in sports cars and Le Mans is their pedigree, not Indianapolis. The view from everyone I spoke with at Ford is that as long as Jaguar are in F1, Le Mans will not happen. I’m not so sure, it may get to the point where they have to go back.