Shares in Wilson Selling Well, Says Manager

Shares in British Formula One driver Justin Wilson are selling well after less than two weeks on the market, his manager Jonathan Palmer has said.

Shares in Wilson Selling Well, Says Manager

Shares in British Formula One driver Justin Wilson are selling well after less than two weeks on the market, his manager Jonathan Palmer has said.

He said the Minardi driver, who became a public limited company to raise 1.2 million pounds ($1.88 million) needed to pay for his place, had already attracted nearly half the targeted amount.

"It's going really very well indeed. I'm very excited about how well Justin Wilson Plc is doing," former grand prix driver Palmer told Reuters. "When I launched the thing I really didn't know how it was going to go.

"But with just over two weeks since we've launched it, we're over 500,000 pounds ($781,500) out of the 1.2 million which is tremendous. There's been a lot of interest in the opportunity of buying a bit of a Formula One driver.

"A lot of people are buying 500 or 1,000 pound shares. we have some bigger investors up to 100,000 pounds. There are quite a few in the 10, 20, 30 or 50,000s."

Wilson, 24, issued a share prospectus in himself at the last Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, setting out how much he would be paid as well as the risks of being at a hard-up back-of-the-grid team like Minardi.

It offered investors a chance to double their money as well as taking a slice of his future earnings. The minimum investment was 500 pounds.

"In a sport where traditionally precise sums of money and contractual details aren't disclosed, as there's no need to, here's a situation with our prospectus where we've had to set out very clearly the whole situation," said Palmer.

"The initial closing date is April 10, we can extend it beyond that but I don't think we'll need to. I would be surprised if it's not over-subscribed by that date."

Wilson, the Formula 3000 champion in 2001, has been guaranteed by his father whose family-owned garage business might have had to be sold if the share issue had failed to attract sufficient interest.

"You have to say that Justin's dad is looking a lot more relaxed these days," said Palmer.

The tall Briton qualified 19th on the grid for Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix, behind teammate Jos Verstappen but ahead of compatriot and Jordan rookie Ralph Firman, and Palmer said he was still doing a good job.

"Justin is doing very well," he said. "He's more than matching his team mate at the moment and they get on very well, it's pretty good."

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