Oriol Servia to race Justin Wilson's Andretti IndyCar at Sonoma

Oriol Servia will race Justin Wilson's car at this weekend's IndyCar season finale at Sonoma as a tribute to the Briton, who died earlier this week following a Pocono crash

Oriol Servia to race Justin Wilson's Andretti IndyCar at Sonoma

Wilson suffered a severe head injury on Sunday when he was hit by debris from Sage Karam's crashing car, and passed away on Monday night.

OBITUARY: Justin Wilson, 1978-2015

"Justin was a true racer and advocate to our sport," said team owner Michael Andretti.

"We will have Justin and his family in our hearts this weekend as we honour him in the way he would want us to, by doing what he loved - racing."

Servia was a close friend of Wilson's, and was hand-picked by his family to drive the #25 Andretti Autosport entry.

"The situation is so difficult on so many levels for obvious reasons that it's hard for the words to come out the right way," said Servia, who has contested part IndyCar seasons focused around the Indianapolis 500 in recent years and has a team management role with Dragon Racing in Formula E.

"I have known and raced Justin for more than 10 years. I have an enormous amount of respect for him as a racer, but his qualities as a human were definitely an inspiration to anyone who ever met him.

"I truly feel he was one of these souls who has evolved a lot more than the rest of us, and it is something you could feel immediately during your first exchange with him. He will be greatly missed as we all try to emulate his spirit.

"I am honoured and emotional with the opportunity of driving his car this weekend.

"I want to thank my friends at Andretti Autosport for the opportunity, and I want to express how deeply touched I am by the desire of Julia, Stefan and all the Wilson family to have me driving the #25."

Wilson's brother Stefan said that Servia is a natural choice for the seat.

"As a family, we cannot imagine a better person to race in Justin's honour than Oriol," he said.

"His path and Justin's crossed in many different ways through the years. As a competitor, and also as a person, he carries Justin's spirit well, and we know that Justin would approve."

The news comes just a few hours after Marco Andretti commenced the public tributes by driving Wilson's car across San Francisco's iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

Meanwhile, the US arm of Honda and HPD, which had a long association with Wilson, has announced that it will make a contribution to the Wilson's Children Fund based on laps completed by Honda-powered drivers on Sunday.

The manufacturer will donate $50 for each lap completed by a Honda entry, for a total possible donation of $55,000. The fund has been set up to help support Wilson's two young daughters and his wife Julia.

UK fans wishing to mail cards or other condolences to the Wilson family can send them to:

Keith Wilson c/o Lisa Davis
PalmerSport
The Old Post Office
Worthing Road
Southwater
West Sussex
RH13 9EZ

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