British IndyCar driver Justin Wilson has died at the age of 37 after a freak accident resulted in the ex-Formula One competitor sustaining serious head injuries during a race in Pennsylvania.
Andretti Autosport’s Wilson, who represented Minardi and Jaguar during the 2003 Formula One season, sustained the injuries after being struck by debris at Pocono Raceway on Sunday. He was airlifted to hospital but died from his injuries.
"This is a monumentally sad day for IndyCar and the motorsports community as a whole," said Mark Miles, chief executive of Hulman & Co., the parent company of IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
"Justin's elite ability to drive a race car was matched by his unwavering kindness, character and humility - which is what made him one of the most respected members of the paddock. As we know, the racing industry is one big family, and our efforts moving forward will be focused on rallying around Justin's family to ensure they get the support they need during this unbelievably difficult time."
Wilson, from Sheffield, is survived by his wife, Julia, and two daughters
In a statement, the Wilson family paid tribute to the "loving father and devoted husband, as well as a highly competitive racing driver who was respected by his peers".
Andretti Autosport said: "We are deeply saddened by the passing of Justin Wilson. He was a tremendous racer, a valuable member of the team and respected representative to our sport.
"While Justin was only part of the Andretti lineup for a short time, it only took a second for him to forever become part of the Andretti family. His life and racing career is a story of class and passion surpassed by none. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the Wilson family and fans worldwide."
The sport was rocked by the death of Briton Dan Wheldon in 2011 following a 15-car crash during the final IndyCar series race of the season in Las Vegas.