Stefan Wilson is looking forward to the upgrade in Honda horsepower.
The 23-year-old Englishman, who has spent much of the season as one of the race drivers who gives VIP rides in a Honda Civic Si safety car, will make his IZOD IndyCar Series debut on the streets of Baltimore.
"I've known about it for about six weeks and I want to get there now because I've spent so much time thinking about it," said Wilson, who will drive the Honda-powered No. 18 Nirvana Tea car for Dale Coyne Racing in the 75-lap Grand Prix of Baltimore on Sept. 1. "Every now and again you start psyching yourself up but then you realize it's still two weeks out. I'm just ready to be in the car and get a feel for what it's like."
Wilson, a Firestone Indy Lights race winner, will be a teammate to his brother, Justin, who drives the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America car. It will mark the first time that brothers will compete as teammates in the IZOD IndyCar Series. Mike and Robbie Groff competed at Walt Disney World Speedway in 1998 but not on the same team.
"I've been trying to do everything I can to prepare, but it will be tough because we're not going to get any testing beforehand," Wilson said. "It's kind of going to be thrown into the deep end without any armbands. I've been studying data and video from Justin's race last year.
"It's going to be a tough weekend to get up to speed, but the main thing I'm concentrating on is having a clean weekend and an opportunity to get experience for next year."
Stefan Wilson competed on the Baltimore circuit in 2011, finishing fifth in an Andretti Autosport-prepared car on the way to placing third in the championship. He graduated to open-wheel cars in 2007 in the Formula Palmer Audi Series, where he earned four victories and four poles on the way to being the championship runner-up.
"I am very happy for Stefan and this great opportunity. It should be a lot of fun racing against each other as we both have similar driving styles," Justin Wilson said.
As part of the sponsorship, Nirvana Tea will create special blend of tea for the race that will feature the No. 18 team on the packet.
"It's quite fitting that an Englishmen will be representing a tea company," Stefan Wilson added. "I'll definitely be switching out the traditional energy drink bottle full of water, for a cup of Nirvana Tea at the post-race interview."
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