Photo: United Autosports
CJ Wilson, former Major League Baseball star with the LA Angels, businessman and owner of CJ Wilson Racing, has a new sporting goal. He wants to race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“Ultimately my goal is to be a really fast driver, running at Le Mans whether its in GTE or LMP2,” said CJ, talking to EnduranceandGT.co.uk editor Andy Lloyd, ahead of his first outing in the Henderson Insurance Brokers LMP3 Cup Championship at Brands Hatch.
“This is my first couple of months as a racer so I have a lot of room left to grow and I want to see how far my potential can take me.”
CJ Wilson has had very limited running in the United Autosports Ligier JS P3.
“We ran the Indy circuit on Friday so I had a couple of laps in the dry but it rained for my first stint so I only got four laps really. Obviously I haven’t really had a lot of chances to go round but this is absolutely a mega circuit. This is one of those tracks that as a kid you see videos of so I can see why this is such a big deal. This track is really a ballsy track. When you drive it on Forza, you don’t really get a sense of the elevation changes and the visibility of some of the corners. The Ligier is an incredible car but I’m not anywhere near experienced in that car yet. I did one test-day in the car a couple of months ago and then I came straight to here so there’s a lot of room left for me to improve.”
CJ sees huge potential for the LMP3 category as part of the development of endurance racing in the US.
“It’s good for me to have the experience of seeing this here and having a say because IMSA ask us ‘where do you think LMP3 should race?’ and I think it should be an endurance series in the States doing two-hour races. You’re then able to put multiple drivers in the car, defray the costs a little bit and make more of a show. Right now they’re running two sprint races of 40 minutes each for one driver and I don’t think that’s the best showcase for what these cars can do.”
United Autosports is also providing CJ with an example of how he would like to develop his own race team in the States.
“When you have a team like United Autosports who are obviously a first class championship winning team – that’s the team that I want my team to evolve into. To be around Richard and see how he manages everything and also to see the level of the crew, the level of preparation and professionalism – it gives me something to shoot for when I go back home.”