Simon Wills

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Simon Wills
Nationality New Zealand New Zealander
Born (1976-10-03) 3 October 1976 (age 43)
Auckland, New Zealand
Retired career
Debut season 1993
Championship titles
1996
1998, 1999
1999, 2000
2001
British F3 – Class B
New Zealand Grand Prix
Australian Drivers' Championship
Konica V8 Supercar Series
Awards
1996–2002 Jim Clark Trophy, Bruce McLaren Trophy, Owen Steel Trophy, NZGP 1998 & 1999, 2x NZ Gold Stars, 2x Australian Gold Stars

Simon Wills (born 3 October 1976 in Auckland, New Zealand) is a former racing driver who currently runs a graphic design business.[1]

Racing career

Formula cars

Wills finished runner up in the 1995 New Zealand Formula Ford Championship. He had gained a large lead in the series, but left the championship two races early to attempt to launch a career in Europe.[1] He won Class B of the British Formula 3 Championship in 1996. However, he didn't have the finances to continue his career in Europe and decided to focus on racing in Australia and New Zealand.[1]

Wills won the 1998 and 1999 New Zealand Grands Prix. He was the Australian Drivers' Champion (Formula Holden) in both 1999 and 2000, and New Zealand Gold Star Champion for 1998 and 1999, including winning the 1999 Tasman Cup. He also holds, or has held, the outright lap record at several tracks, including the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, Hidden Valley Raceway, Pukekohe Park Raceway, Manfeild Autocourse, Canberra Street Circuit and Queensland Raceway, which were all set in a Reynard 94D.

Touring cars

Wills won the Konica V8 Supercar Series in 2001.[1] In the main V8 Supercar series, he also competed in nine Bathurst 1000s, debuting with Gibson Motorsport in 1998, and finishing in 2007 with Brad Jones Racing.[2] Wills also held the lap record of the Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst between the 2001 and 2002 races, having set the lap record during the 2001 Bathurst 1000. Following Bathurst in 2001, Wills completed the remaining rounds in the 2001 season with Briggs Motor Sport, and then drove full-time from 2003 to 2005 with Team Dynamik.[3] In 2007, he drove the bulk of the rounds with Brad Jones Racing after team owner and lead driver Brad Jones retired mid-season.[4]

Wills' most significant achievement in V8 Supercar was winning the 2002 Queensland 500 endurance race for Stone Brothers Racing, co-driving with David Besnard.[3] Wills went close to going back to back at the Bathurst lead-up event, with co-driver Jason Richards going off late in the 2003 Betta Electrical Sandown 500 while attempting to overtake Mark Skaife for the lead.[4] Wills was also the driver when Team Dynamik infamously ran a test session on an airfield near Woomera, South Australia in 2004, which resulted in significant penalties for the team.[4]

Career results

Wills won the 1999 and 2000 Australian Drivers' Championships in a Reynard 94D, similar to the example pictured above
Season Series Team Races Wins Poles F/Laps Podiums Points Position
1995 European Formula Ford Championship ? ? ? ? ? 19 8th
British Formula Ford Championship ? ? ? ? ? 59 7th
1996 British Formula Three Championship Z-Speed Racing ? ? ? ? ? 0 -
1996-97 New Zealand Touring Car Championship TSW Alloy Wheels 12 2 1 2 3 216 7th
1997 British Formula Three Championship Intersport Racing 14 0 0 0 0 22 13th
1998 Australian Drivers' Championship Greg Murphy Racing 3 1 ? ? 1 23 8th
1999 Australian Drivers' Championship Birrana Racing 13 11 ? ? 12 235 1st
Shell Championship Series John Faulkner Racing 2 0 0 0 0 192 42nd
2000 Australian Drivers' Championship Birrana Racing 16 8 ? ? 13 239 1st
Shell Championship Series Stone Brothers Racing 2 0 0 0 0 236 25th
2001 Australian Drivers' Championship Birrana Racing 4 3 ? ? 3 60 9th
Konica V8 Supercar Series Team Dynamik 17 10 2 3 10 1272 1st
Shell Championship Series Briggs Motor Sport 2 0 0 1 0 416 41st
2002 V8 Supercar Championship Series Briggs Motor Sport 22 1 0 0 1 496 20th
2003 V8 Supercar Championship Series Team Dynamik 22 0 0 0 0 1059 22nd
2004 V8 Supercar Championship Series Team Dynamik 23 0 0 1 0 929 26th
2005 V8 Supercar Championship Series Team Dynamik 23 0 0 0 0 437 34th
2007 Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series Team Dynamik 2 0 0 0 0 0 -
V8 Supercar Championship Series Brad Jones Racing 29 0 0 0 0 12 45th
2008 Commodore Cup National Series 2 0 0 0 0 102 32nd
V8 Ute Racing Series Nandi Kiss Racing 3 0 0 0 0 82 36th
Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series Eggleston Motorsport 2 0 0 0 0 63 44th

Bathurst 1000 results

Year Team Car Co-driver Position Laps
1998 Gibson Motorsport Holden Commodore (VS) Australia David Parsons DNF 57
1999 John Faulkner Racing Holden Commodore (VT) New Zealand John Faulkner DNF 65
2000 Stone Brothers Racing Ford Falcon (BA) New Zealand Craig Baird 7th 161
2001 Briggs Motor Sport Ford Falcon (BA) Australia John Bowe DNF 124
2002 Team Kiwi Racing Holden Commodore (VX) New Zealand Jason Richards 11th 160
2003 Team Dynamik Holden Commodore (VY) New Zealand Jason Richards 22nd 139
2004 Team Dynamik Holden Commodore (VY) Australia Paul Stokell 13th 159
2007 Brad Jones Racing Ford Falcon (BF) Australia Andrew Jones DNF 52

Business

In the latter years of his racing career, Wills launched a graphic design and signwriting business in Adelaide, South Australia.[1] Formed with his wife, Sinch Creative focuses on motor racing designs amongst other areas.[5]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e "Where are they Now? Simon Wills". SpeedCafe. 27 August 2010. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  2. ^ Greenhalgh, David; Tuckey, Bill (2013). The official history of The Great Race Bathurst : 50 years. St Leonards, New South Wales: Chevron Publishing Group. ISBN 9780980591231.
  3. ^ a b Greenhalgh, David; Howard, Graham; Wilson, Stewart (2011). The official history: Australian Touring Car Championship - 50 Years. St Leonards, New South Wales: Chevron Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-9805912-2-4.
  4. ^ a b c Noonan, Aaron (28 April 2018). "Saturday Sleuthing: Simon Wills". Supercars.com. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  5. ^ "About Us". Sinch Creative. Retrieved 19 September 2015.

External links

  • Simon Wills career summary at DriverDB.com
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Brady Kennett
Winner of the New Zealand Grand Prix
1998 and 1999
Succeeded by
Andy Booth
Preceded by
Scott Dixon
Winner of the Australian Drivers' Championship
1999 and 2000
Succeeded by
Rick Kelly
Preceded by
Dean Canto
Winner of the Konica V8 Supercar Series
2001
Succeeded by
Paul Dumbrell


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