Wilson tributes flow among calls for safety review

Tue Aug 25, 2015 8:53pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

(Reuters) - Tributes continued to pour in on Tuesday following the death of British IndyCar driver Justin Wilson the previous day, along with renewed calls throughout the motor racing world for a review of driver safety in the sport.

Wilson, a former Formula One driver and seven-time winner in IndyCar racing, died at the age of 37 after suffering a severe head injury during a wreck in the closing laps of an IndyCar race at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania on Sunday.

"Can't describe the sadness I feel for the loss of such a wonderful person," Wilson's Andretti Autosport team mate Ryan Hunter-Reay, who went on to win Sunday's race, wrote on his Twitter account. "Justin was inspiring in so many ways & still is."

Graham Rahal, son of 1986 Indy 500 winner and former Jaguar Formula One manager Bobby Rahal, said in a statement: "Some things in life just don't make sense. I know there's always a plan, but this one doesn't make any sense to me.

"Justin was the epitome of a great guy, an incredible teammate, great father and a wonderful friend."

The death of Wilson, who never regained consciousness after he was struck in the helmet by debris from a car he was following before he slammed into a wall, has sparked widespread calls for the introduction of closed cockpits, or canopies.

"Its not only safer, it is more aero efficient, therefore, the future," former Formula One driver Lucas di Grassi of Brazil said on Twitter.

"Canopies will be used in every single formula (open-wheel) series in the future. Not only for safety, but for aerodynamic improvement."   Continued...

IndyCar Series driver driver Justin Wilson is introduced before the 2015 Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor  Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana, in this file photo taken May 24, 2015. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports