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Michelin Pilot Challenge

Racers in Isolation: Kris Wilson

GT racing veteran Kris Wilson checks in from rural Colorado and reveals his bucket list races still to achieve…

Photo: Kris Wilson

Sportscar365 is asking drivers from around the world what they’re doing during the COVID-19 pandemic and how they’re coping with the racing downtime.

Veteran GT racing driver and a regular in Automatic Racing’s Aston Martin Vantage GT4, Kris Wilson  features in this edition.

Where are you sitting out the COVID-19 crisis?

In my town of Palmer Lake, Colorado. It’s a small town of 2,000 people at an elevation of 7,300 feet in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Beautiful country and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

How have you adapted to the current situation from a financial/business perspective?

Doing more online sim coaching. I do a lot of coaching in real racing and this was a good time to ramp up the online coaching. I have been using iRacing for about six years now to give myself a tune up before each race. I usually do around 200 laps at the track virtually before I go to a race event.

What was your first car?

A 1976 Chevy Camaro. It was a project car. I had tech classes in high school, so I did everything myself. Rebuilt the V8 small block engine, replaced the auto trans with a Muncie 4 speed, pulled the interior out and did a diamond tuck velour headliner and seats. Painted the exterior a two-tone blue and silver.

I kept the Camaro through college until I started to work for Jim Busby Racing in 1986.

What’s your favorite holiday destination?

I live at my holiday destination. It’s great year-round in Palmer Lake. This Memorial Day Weekend it was 46 degrees and crystal clear when I mowed the field after a morning bike ride. I mountain bike as a main source of exercise and we have plenty of terrain and incredible views here.

What other form of motorsports would you like to try your hand in?

Off-road racing. When I first started racing, BFGoodrich was our team sponsor and they sent me to be on the chase crew of Ivan Stewart’s truck at the Parker 400. What a blast but I thought I was going to die riding in the chase truck!

If you could be the President of IMSA for a day, what would you change?

That would not be a job I would care to have in these crazy times. I think John Doonan Is doing a great job trying to figure out how we are going to go back to racing again and structuring the new international rules for sports car racing competition.

Is there a track/race still on your ‘bucket list’ that you would like to race one day?

24 Hours of Le Mans and the Baja 1000 for sure.

What’s the one thing you are most looking forward to the first day you return to a racetrack?

Seeing, hearing and smelling race cars on track again. I’ve been racing for over 30 years so it’s hard not to be at a racetrack.

Photo: Kris Wilson

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