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Rob Wilson (racing driver)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rob Wilson
NationalityNew Zealand New Zealander
Born (1952-09-06) 6 September 1952 (age 67)
Auckland, New Zealand
Bathurst 12 Hour
Years active2012
2010
TeamsBlack Falcon
Greg Murphy Racing
Starts2
Wins0
Poles0
Fastest laps0
Best finishDNF in 2012, 2010
Previous series
2008
2007
2007
2005
2004,2006
2002
2001
1999,2005
1996
1995,1997
1994-1997
1991
1991,1994
1988-1990
1982-1987
1980-81
1978-1980
1977-1978
1975-76
1975
Dubai 24 Hour
FIA GT3 European Championship
American Le Mans Series
24 Hours of Le Mans
Le Mans Series
American Le Mans Series
British GT Championship
FIA GT Championship
IndyCar Series
NASCAR Busch Series
Busch East Series
IMSA Supercar Championship
Indy Lights
Barber Saab Pro Series
British Formula Three Championship
Formula Pacific
British Formula Three Championship
British Formula Ford 2000
New Zealand Formula Ford
British Formula Ford
Championship titles
2008
1990
Dubai 24 Hour SP2 class
Barber Saab Pro Series
NASCAR Xfinity Series career
3 races run over 2 years
Car no., team9, Joe Bessey
60, Tom Pease
Best finish15th
First race1995 Meridian Advantage 200
Last race1997 Lysol 200
Statistics current as of 16 March 2014.
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Years1994
2004
2005
TeamsChamberlain Engineering
Cirtek Motorsport
Best finish19th

Rob Wilson (born 6 September 1952 in Auckland) is a former racing driver from New Zealand. Wilson raced in various formularacing and endurance racing series.

Career history

Formula racing

Rob Wilson won a scholarship to race in the 1975 British Formula Ford season. The following year he returned to New Zealand to race in the New Zealand Formula Ford Championship where he came in second in the championship. The Kiwi won a British Formula Ford 2000 race at Mallory Park in 1977, driving a Reynard.[1] When he entered the British Formula Three Championship he won the fifteenth race of the season at Mallory Park. Scoring another two podium finishes the Kiwi ended up sixth in the BARC championship.[2] The following season Wilson raced with year old equipment and could only score four points. The young driver won the 1980 BARC TV Trophy, a non-championship race for Formula 3 cars.[3] In the British championship he scored five podium finishes and secured the fifth place in the standings. In early 1981 the New Zealander returned to his home country. He raced a part-time schedule in the Formula Pacific series. His best result came at Manfield Autocourse, here he finished third out of ten drivers.[4] After obtaining his FIA Super Licence the Kiwi tried his racing luck in Formula One. He was first approached by Fittipaldi Automotive to replace the retiring Emerson Fittipaldi. But after the Brazilian cruzeiro was devaluated he needed to bring a sponsor which he did not have. Before the 1981 Belgian Grand Prix Wilson got into contact with Ken Tyrrell. But as Michele Alboreto offered more sponsor money he got the seat for the remainder of the season.

After a failed try to get into Formula One he returned to the British Formula Three Championship. The 1984 British Formula Three season was no success. Wilson partnered with Eddie Jordan Racing but failed to score a single point. After some low seasons in the British championship Wilson moved to the United States.

When moving to the United States Rob Wilson started to race in the Barber Saab Pro Series. Wilson scored a fifth place in the 1988 season. During the season the New Zealander won two races, at Road America and in the streets of Tamiami Park. The 1989 Barber Saab Pro Series season had more success, the driver won three races. While Robbie Buhl dominated the season Wilson achieved the runner up position in the championship beating Justin Bell. Wilsons big break through came in 1990. The driver won six out of the twelve rounds of the series and won the championship by 55 points. With eleven wins Rob Wilson is the winningest driver in the 18 years of the Barber Pro Series.

After winning the championship Rob Wilson started in the Indy Lights in 1991. His best result came at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course while driving for Stuart Moore Racing. Wilson finished ninth in his March Wildcat. Wilson returned in Indy Lights in 1994. While driving for Team Leisy the New Zealander achieved his best result in Indy Lights. At the Milwaukee Mile he finished fifth.[5] Wilson scored 22 points and finished twelfth in the standings. With these results Wilson was the best classified part-time driver even beating some full-time Indy Lights competitors.[6] With the creation of the IndyCar Series Wilson entered the 1996 Indy 500 with Project Indy. The racer was entered in a Ford Cosworth XB powered Lola T93/00 sponsored by gun manufacturer Ruger.[7] Racing in 1993 built equipment Wilson failed to qualify. He was the third fastest non qualifier of a total of ten non qualifiers.[8]

NASCAR

Rob Wilson made his stockcar racing debut in the 1994 GMC Trucks 200K, a NASCAR Busch North Series race at Lime Rock Park. The 41-year-old started 24th but had to retire after a transmission failure.[9] He returned to the series the following year. His best result came at Nazareth Speedway. While racing a Pontiac owned by Joe Bessey he finished fifteenth.[10] Wilson achieved the height of is Busch North career in 1996. Wilson led a lap at the 1996 Burnham Boilers 150 at Watkins Glen International, he eventually finished sixth.[11]

In 1995 the Kiwi made his debut in the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series. He was first entered in the 1995 NE Chevy Dealers 250 at New Hampshire International Speedway but failed to qualify.[12] He qualified 42nd (as last starter) the following race at Nazareth. Racing in the #9 Delco Remy Pontiac he raced his way through the field finishing fifteenth.[13] The New Zealander returned for two races in 1997. He failed to finish both races due to mechanical breakdown.[14]

Sportscar racing

Wilson raced a few races in the IMSA Camel Lights. Wilson and his teammate Ken Knott finished seventh in class in the 1990 Grand Prix of Miami.[15] Rob Wilson drove his first 12 Hours of Sebring in 1991. After 140 laps the Mazda MX-6 had an accident which took it out of the race.[16] The Kiwi also raced full-time in the IMSA Supercar Championship. While driving a Consulier GTP his best finish was a fourth place at Road America.[17] Rob Wilson, with teammates Honorato Espinosa, Felipe Solano and Pete Uria, raced in the 1991 24 Hours of Daytona. The team raced in the GTU class and finished fifteenth overall, second in class.[18] In the 1992 running of the race the car suffered a fire and was classified 21st overall, seventh in class. While racing a Nissan 240SX in the 1995 24 Hours of Daytona the racing team finished sixth overall, second in class. In 1999 the New Zealander entered two FIA GT rounds. Partnered with Robert Nearn, Wilson was entered by Seikel Motorsport in the Donington 500km. After 45 laps the Porsche 911 GT2 suffered gearbox problems and had to retire.[19] Rob Wilson competed in the first ever Rolex Sports Car Series, the 2000 24 Hours of Daytona with Martin Henderson. The Pillbeam MP84 suffered gearbox problems after 2 hours and 30 minutes of racing and had to retire.[20] The MP84 was the only car in the SR2 class. The low car count was not surprising, the SR2 cars were not designed for 24 hours of racing.[21] The following season Wilson raced in the British GT Championship for Hayles Racing in a Chrysler Viper. The Kiwi won the races at Snetterton, Oulton Park, Knockhill and Brands Hatch. Furthermore, he scored another seven podium finishes.[22] These good results put him in the third place of the championship.[23] In 2004 the New Zealander competed in all the major endurance races. After finishing 18th at Daytona and 28th at Sebring the European season began. His best result in the Le Mans Series came at the 2004 1000 km of Monza where he finished 17th. At Le Mans the team finished 19th overall, seventh in class. Wilson ended the season at Petit Le Mans where he failed to finish.[24] Wilson continued to race with Cirtek Motorsport in 2005. In 2006 and 2007 the New Zealander raced in various GT races. Wilson competed in the 2007 24 Hours of Daytona racing a Infiniti G35. The team had to retire eight hours into the race.[25] The Kiwi also continued to race in Britcar and British GT scoring various top ten finishes in a works Marcos Mantis. With Red Bull Racing designer Adrian Newey as one of his teammates, Wilson achieved a class victory in the 2008 Dubai 24 Hour.

Outside racing

Besides racing itself he was a racing instructor at the Skip Barber Racing School. Rob Wilson is a driver coach for many aspiring drivers.[26] Juan Pablo Montoya, Kimi Räikkönen, David Coulthard, Marco Andretti, and Valentino Rossi are among the drivers Wilson has trained over the years. He was also one of the key people involved in the Grand Prix Shootout out of which Tio Ellinas came forth.[27] Most of his driving coaching takes place at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground.[28]

Rob Wilson is also an avid musician. The Kiwi played bass guitar during his time with 1970's pop band Edison Lighthouse. He played bass guitar on the band’s number one record Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes). The song was number one for five weeks in the UK Singles Chart. Wilson is currently part of country/rock/blues formation Grand Prairie.[29]

Racing record

American open–wheel racing results

(key)

Indy Lights

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Rank Points
1991 Stuart Moore Racing United States
LBH
10
United States
PHX
11
United States
MIL
10
United States
DET
United States
POR
United States
CLE
United States
MEA
Canada
TOR
United States
DEN
United States
MDO
6
United States
NZR
United States
LS
16
15th 15
1994 Team Leisy United States
PHX
10
United States
LBH
Ret
United States
MIL
5
United States
DET
9
United States
POR
9
United States
CLE
Canada
TOR
United States
MDO
United States
NHS
Canada
VAN
United States
NZR
12
United States
LS
12th 22

IndyCar

Year Team 1 2 3 Rank Points
1996 Project Indy United States
WDW
United States
PHX
United States
INDY
DNQ
NC -

NASCAR

(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

Busch Series

NASCAR Busch Series results
Year Team No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 NBSC Pts
1995 Chevy DAY CAR
DNQ
RCH ATL NSV DAR BRI HCY NHA
DNQ
N/A 0
Joe Bessey Motorsports 9 Pontiac NZH
15
CLT DOV MYB GLN MLW TAL SBO IRP MCH BRI DAR RCH DOV CLT CAR HOM
1997 Pease Motorsports 60 Ford DAY CAR RCH ATL LVS DAR HCY TEX BRI NSV TAL NHA
32
NZH CLT DOV SBO 88th 107
Chevy GLN
41
MLW MYB GTY IRP MCH BRI DAR RCH DOV CLT CAL CAR HOM

Busch North Series

NASCAR Busch North Series results
Year Team No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 NBNSC Pts
1994 Astratech Racing 64 Chevy NHA NHA MND NZH SPE HOL GLN JEN EPP GLN NHA WIS STA TMP MND WMM RPS LEE NHA LRP
29
81st 76
1995 65 DAY NHA
35
LEE JEN NHA GLN
33
EPP RPS LEE STA BEE NHA TMP
26
LRP 50th 361
Joe Bessey Motorsports 9 Pontiac NZH
15
HOL BEE TMP GLN NHA TIO MND
1996 97 Chevy DAY LEE JEN NZH HOL NHA
14
TIO BEE TMP NZH NHA STA GLN
6
EPP RPS LEE NHA NHA BEE TMP 49th 332
1 LRP
34

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1994 United Kingdom Chamberlain Engineering United Kingdom David Brodie
United Kingdom William Hewland
Harrier LR9C GT2 45 DNF DNF
2004 United Kingdom Cirtek Motorsport Netherlands Hans Hugenholtz
United Kingdom Frank Mountain
Ferrari 360 Modena GT LM 311 19th 7th
2005 United Kingdom Cirtek Motorsport
Russia Conversbank
Sweden Stefan Eriksson
United Kingdom Joe Macari
Ferrari 360 Modena GTC GT2 218 DNF DNF

Complete 12 Hours of Sebring results

Year Result Team Car Class
1991 DNF Botero Racing Mazda MX-6 GTU
1992 DNF Botero Racing Mazda MX-6 GTU
1993 DNF Scott Clarke Porsche 944 Turbo GT INV
1995 13th Ecuador Mobil 1 Racing Nissan 240SX GTS-2
1996 14th Ecuador Mobil 1 Racing Nissan 240SX GTS-2
2002 DNF Cirtek Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3-R GT
2004 DNF Cirtek Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3-R GT
2007 20th JMB Racing Ferrari F430GT GT2

References

  1. ^ "British Formula Ford 2000 Championship (1975-1989)". Motorsport Winners. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
  2. ^ "Formula 3 Britain BARC 1978". DriverDB.com. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  3. ^ "Wendy Wools Formula 3 Race 1980". DriverDB.com. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  4. ^ "New Zealand Formula Pacific Race Mansfeild, 18 Jan 1981". Old Racing Cars. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  5. ^ "Rob Wilson". ChampCar Stats. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  6. ^ "1994 PPG/Firestone Indy Lights Championship". ChampCar Stats. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  7. ^ "Rob Wilson". ChampCar Stats. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  8. ^ "1996 Indianapolis 500 Daily Trackside Report". The Auto Channel. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
  9. ^ "1994 GMC Trucks 200K". Racing-Reference.info. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  10. ^ "1995 NASCAR Busch North Series Results". Racing-Reference.info. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  11. ^ "1996 Burnham Boilers 150". Racing-Reference.info. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  12. ^ "1995 NE Chevy Dealers 250". Racing-Reference.info.
  13. ^ "1995 Meridian Advantage 200". Racing-Reference.info. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  14. ^ "1997 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series Results". Racing-Reference.info. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  15. ^ "International Motor Sport Association 1990". World Sports Racing Prototypes. Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  16. ^ "Sebring 12 Hours 1991". Racing Sports Cars. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  17. ^ "IMSA Bridgestone Potenza Supercar Championship 1991". World Sports Racing Prototypes. Archived from the original on 18 March 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  18. ^ "Daytona 24 Hours 1991". Racing Sports Cars. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  19. ^ "FIA GT Championship Donington". Racing Sports Cars. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  20. ^ "Daytona 24 Hours 2000". Racing Sports Cars. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  21. ^ "Retrospective>>2000 Rolex 24 Hours Part 1". Speedhunters. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  22. ^ "BRDC GT Championship 2001". World Sports Racing Prototypes. Archived from the original on 30 October 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  23. ^ "British GT Championship". World Sports Racing Prototypes. Archived from the original on 18 March 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  24. ^ "All Results of Rob Wilson". Racing Sports Cars. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  25. ^ "Daytona 24 Hours 2007". Racing Sports Cars. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
  26. ^ "Coach Party" (PDF). Autosport. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
  27. ^ "Rob Wilson". Euro Race Scholarschip Challenge. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
  28. ^ "Doing lines..." motoring.com.au. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
  29. ^ "The band". Grand Prairie. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Robbie Buhl
Barber Saab Pro Series Champion
1990
Succeeded by
Bryan Herta
This page was last edited on 26 September 2019, at 00:45
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