ALAN WILSON has been in the business of motor sport since 1969. He has raced cars and motorcycles and developed and managed major international race facilities, race series and events. After marrying Desiré in 1975 he and his racing wife moved from South Africa to Holland and the UK, where he became a Director of the Brands Hatch companies before moving to the USA in 1983. Wilson Motorsport Inc., the track design company he and Desiré established is recognized as one of the leading track design and development companies in the world. The Wilson’s have developed many different race facilities, including the award winning Miller Motorsports Park in Utah and Barber Motorsport Park in Alabama. Alan has been Des’s partner in her racing and her life for more than 35 years.
Alan Wilson’s book, “Desire to Race …. The Desiré Wilson Story” chronicles the racing life of his wife who started her career as 5-year old, racing 60 mph micro-midgets in South Africa and went on to a Formula One drive in the British Championship during her first full year of racing in the UK and then to becoming the first and only, woman to win a Formula One race.
But single seater racing was just the start. Desiré won two FIA World Championship Sports Car Endurance races in 1980 and went on to compete in well over 120 types of race car at more than 100 race tracks around the world.
Always competitive, she earned a reputation for an intense and no-nonsense approach to racing that shrugged off the media glamour while she focused on the hard grind of staying competitive in the one of the world’s most sporting arenas.
Moving to the male dominated world of North American racing, she became a pioneer for women racing in the harsh world of Indy Cars, facing discrimination, financial and other problems that ranged from tragedy to farce.
Desiré Wilson’s career is unique in the world of racing, encompassing everything from club racing to Formula One and World Championship sports cars to the evil monsters of the IndyCar World Series, world’s fastest race cars.
Her story tells of hardships; fun; tragedy, perseverance, injury and the amazing behind the scenes world that hides behind the public face and glamour of racing. It tells too, of the consequences of politics and discrimination that faced a woman in the male world of professional auto racing.
In a career lasting fifty years, Desiré Wilson was a winner who caused her male rivals to wonder how to beat her …. and very few did!