Hundreds of mourners have attended the funeral of a South Yorkshire racing driver.
Ex-Formula One driver Mark Webber and retired IndyCar driver Dario Franchitti were among the pallbearers as Justin Wilson’s coffin, draped in the Union Flag and topped with a bouquet of white blooms, was carried into St James the Great Church, Paulersbury, Northamptonshire.
The IndyCar driver, from Woodall, near Rotherham was killed after an accident in an IndyCar race in the US last month.
The 37-year-old driver was struck on the helmet by flying debris from a crash in the closing stages at the Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania and died of his injuries just over 24 hours later.
His funeral was attended by hundreds of family, friends and motorsport fans. Among those present was former racing driver Sir Jackie Stewart.
One mourner held what appeared to be Mr Wilson’s racing helmet.
A poem written by Wilson’s wife, Julia, called ‘Today I washed you away’, was read at the service.
In it she said: “It’s not fair you had such a short life.”
Jonathan Palmer, the former F1 driver who took Wilson on as a protege, delivered a 12-minute eulogy.
He told mourners: “Justin died doing something he loved. He wasn’t in denial about the risks.”
Wilson is being cremated at a private service before a reception is held at Silverstone later today.
Wilson competed in the 2003 Formula One season where he raced for Minardi and Jaguar before moving to America where his career spanned a decade.
The F1 community paid tribute to him at the Italian Grand Prix last weekend, holding a minute’s silence prior to the race and by wearing stickers in his memory on their crash helmets.
Following his death Wilson helped to save six other lives after he donated his organs.
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