VIDEO: Friends and family pack village church for funeral of Northamptonshire IndyCar hero

Friends and family of a Northampton IndyCar hero who died in a freak racing incident last month gathered in a village church for his funeral today.

Justin Wilson was killed after being struck by debris from a crash on Lap 180 of the 200-lap race at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania, on August 26.

Mr Wilson’s friends and family attended a service at the St James the Great Church in Paulerspury.

The coffin was draped in a Union Jack and one mourner held what appeared to be Mr Wilson’s racing helmet.

A reception will be held in Hall 5, of The Wing at the Silverstone circuit this afternoon and a memorial service is expected to be held in Indianapolis later in the month for his many US fans to attend.

A fund set up to raise money for Mr Wilson’s two daughters has already prompted a generous response. So far Honda, which supplies engines to many of the IndyCar teams, has given around £34,000 and tyre makers Firestone has donated around £19,000

The Justin Wilson Memorial Auction is set to begin on eBay on September 14 and will see helmets worn by IndyCar drivers in the August 30 race at Sonoma Raceway being auctioned.

Mr Wilson recorded seven career IndyCar victories during his career, the most recent in 2012 at Texas Motor Speedway.

He also competed in Formula One in 2003 with Minardi and Jaguar.

Wilson, a road cycling and mountain biking enthusiast, also was an ambassador for dyslexia, and was known to speak to groups at the racetrack anvisit schools near IndyCar race venues.

The family released the following statement: “Justin was a loving father and devoted husband, as well as a highly competitive racing driver who was respected by his peers.

Donations can be sent to the Wilson Children’s Fund at: John White Funeral Directors, Donations Wilson, 188/190 Watling Street, Towcester, NN12 6DB.