St. Petersburg, Fla. (25 March 2014) – Justin Wilson returns to Verizon IndyCar Series action this weekend in Dale Coyne Racing’s No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda as the 2014 IndyCar championship opens with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday. The 18-mile, 14-turn circuit incorporates the streets of downtown St. Petersburg as well as a section of runway at Albert Whitted Airport and is the first stop on the 18-race IndyCar schedule.
A challenging circuit with tight turns and long straights, Wilson has a strong history at the Florida street course. The 2014 event marks Wilson’s seventh start in the event with a best finish of second in 2010. He also nabbed a spot on the podium in 2009 with a third place finish and has always finished among the top-10 through the streets of St. Pete.
Wilson is eager to return to the seat of his No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda after sustaining injuries to his pelvis in a crash during the 2013 season-finale race at Fontana.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” said Wilson who worked hard over the off season to rehabilitate back to prime condition. “I am back in one piece. I healed fast and got back to walking and cycling and training and doing everything that I was normally doing. I am pretty lucky to get back so quick. It’s been a long off season but I’ve just been training and getting ready for this year and focusing on how to get better and how to get faster.”
Following his recovery, Wilson was right back to racing as he re-joined Michael Shank Racing in the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship for the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The team experienced small mechanical setbacks in both events but the resilient Shank squad powered through to take the checkered flag in both endurance events.
In addition to his sports car competition, Wilson has amassed several hours of IndyCar testing with Dale Coyne Racing over the off season and is hoping to carry what the team has learned during the tests into the St. Pete weekend with several new additions to the Dale Coyne Racing team including engineer Michael Cannon.
“We like the progress that we’ve made to the car and the work that the team is doing,” said Wilson. “It’s a complete new set of guys working with Michael Cannon, and that just keeps getting better and better every time we run. The Barber test was all about gelling as a team, coming together more than anything else, so I think that helps us going into St. Pete.”
On track action gets underway through the streets of St. Pete with two practice sessions on Friday, March 28. A third practice and qualifying is set for Saturday with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg to begin Sunday, March 30 at 3:20 PM (ET).
The race will be televised live on ABC at 3:00 PM (ET).
JUSTIN WILSON, ST. PETE RESULTS:
2008: Start – 3rd Finish – 9th (Newman Haas – Lanigan Racing)
2009: Start – 2nd Finish – 3rd (Dale Coyne Racing)
2010: Start – 4th Finish – 2nd (Dreyer & Reinbold Racing)
2011: Start – 6th Finish – 10th (Dreyer & Reinbold Racing)
2012: Start – 15th Finish – 10th (Dale Coyne Racing)
2013: Start – 13th Finish – 9th (Dale Coyne Racing)
Friday, March 28
10:00 AM – 10:45 AM Practice 1
2:00 PM – 2:45 PM Practice 2
Saturday, March 29
9:45 AM – 10:15 Practice 3
2:00 PM – 2:10 PM Qualifying – Round 1 Group 1
2:20 PM – 2:30 PM Qualifying – Round 1 Group 2
2:40 PM – 2:50 PM Qualifying – Round 2
3:00 PM – 3:10 PM Qualifying – Round 3
Sunday, March 30
9:45 AM – 10:15 AM Final Practice
3:20 PM – 6:00 PM Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
TV Listings: ABC will carry live coverage of the race beginning at 3:00 PM (ET) with radio coverage by the IMS Radio Network, including on Sirius and XM Channels 211 and www.indycar.com. Fans in the UK will find TV coverage BT Sport 2 at 8:00 PM (BST) on Sunday. Live timing and scoring will also be available at racecontrol.indycar.com.
News updates: There will be updates on justinwilson.co.uk throughout the weekend as well as track-side updates via twitter: follow @justin_wilson, @DaleCoyneRacing, @SundayGroup and @justin_wilsonPR to stay close to the action.