The man drafted in to drive the late Justin Wilson’s Andretti Autosport IndyCar, Spain’s Oriol Servia, hopes he did his memory proud with a strong drive in the season finale at Sonoma.
Driving less than a week after Wilson passed away from head injuries sustained at Pocono last Sunday, Servia drove his #25 car as a tribute to the hugely popular English driver.
“I really think we coulda been top five, I hope Justin was proud of what we did – we definitely fought really hard,” said Servia. “The most important thing was I had a lot of fun, I know he wanted me to have a lot of fun like he always did driving these cars.
“I was fighting with [Ryan] Briscoe [who finished fifth], I think we had a better car than him, but the last yellow there just didn’t work for me or anyone on my strategy. We got sent to the back.”
Servia finished 12th, but had earlier run as high as third on his alternate strategy to the leading runners.
“I had a great time from the beginning. From Friday, I was really struggling – just to stay in the seat! Yesterday I made big improvements and today every lap I was just getting better and remembering how to drive these machines.
“There’s nothing that can help us fill the void, for Justin not being here. But I hope we all remember him and inspire us to be better humans, just like he was.
“Please go to wilsonchildrensfund.com and donate whatever you spent this Sunday, just match it – if we all do that, those beautiful daughters will have things a lot easier.”
Hunter-Reay pays tribute too
Second-place finisher at Sonoma, Ryan Hunter-Reay, also paid tribute to his former teammate.
“Today we’re remembering Justin, I really want to emphasize that,” he said. “We’re not moving on from him, he’s a part of what we’re doing and he’s inspired me.
"I’m going to take his traits and learn – from the short time he was my teammate – and apply it all the time. He’ll always be moving forwards with Andretti Autosport.”