In his first foray in the IZOD IndyCar Series, Stefan Wilson finished 16th at the Grand Prix of Baltimore on Sunday. It was a decent showing for the 24-year-old native of Woodall, England, who drove the No. 18 car.
“It was pretty interesting,” Wilson said. “So much to learn. Going into the race, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve never raced an IndyCar race, I’ve never raced a race longer than 40 laps. So to go and do 75 laps here, I knew it was going to be pretty tough physically. So just trying to play it smart and trying to keep my nose clean. That’s been the objective all week.
"Having no testing in the car coming into this weekend, after warm-ups, I had literally had 3½ hours in the car compared to a lot of these guys that have done the whole season at least. Dario [Franchitti has] been doing this since ’97. So I was racing against guys with a lot more experience. ... Unfortunately, I made a mistake in the race where I just touched the marbles and I couldn’t keep the car under control and hit the wall. I was very disappointed about that."
Wilson’s debut was tinged with even more interest as he raced with his older brother Justin. The 35-year-old placed fourth, his fifth top-five showing of the year.
“It was great,” the elder Wilson said of racing with his brother. “Unfortunately, there was a time when I was going backwards because I lost my brakes, and he went by [about lap 15]. And there was another time when we were out there and the safety cars and lapped cars had to go to the back. So I didn’t see him too much, but it was great to have him in the race. I don’t know how it was going for him. I’ve got to find out. But it was a crazy race. I was really pleased he was able to go out there and do it.”
Stefan Wilson said he tried to avoid going elbow-to-elbow with his brother.
“When you see his car on the track, we were pretty respectful of each other,” he said. “At one point there, he got spun around and when they restarted the race, we were right next to each other. …
"You just don’t run up into his back or otherwise that would definitely be an uncomfortable dinner table. It was pretty cool. Being his teammate, getting to work with him and getting to gain off his experience has been so invaluable this weekend. If I had to pick a teammate to come here and learn off of as a rookie, he would definitely be the one. He’s got almost nine years in this series. So it’s definitely nice to be able to tap into that experience, and it’s definitely helped me learn even quicker over the weekend.”Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun