Dan Wheldon: One year on
16 October 2012 – Tuesday 16 October 2012 marks one year since the passing of Dan Wheldon. The Englishman lost his life at last year’s season-ending IndyCar race in Las Vegas, leaving behind wife Susie and children Sebastian and Oliver.
A self-confessed perfectionist, Wheldon was aged 33 at the time of his death and had already signed an Andretti Autosport contract for this year. The accident occurred early in the Las Vegas race, with the 2005 and 2011 Indianapolis 500 winner having been challenged to win the race from the back of the grid. His car was launched into the air in a 15-vehicle accident, flying into a metal pole cockpit-first.
In his early days, Daniel Wheldon battled in go-karts in England against the likes of Anthony Davidson and future F1 World Champion Jenson Button. In 1999 he went on to become the US F2000 National Champion before progressing to the Toyota Atlantic Championship and Indy Lights, where he was runner-up in 2000 and 2001, respectively.
His IndyCar Series debut came in 2002, with the first race victory being celebrated with Andretti Green Racing at Motegi, Japan in 2004.
Still with Andretti Green, Wheldon claimed the overall IndyCar title in 2005 with six race wins to his name, including three consecutively early in the campaign. With five teams over his IndyCar career, he picked up 16 race victories and five pole positions.
One year on, the thoughts of the entire GPUpdate.net team are with the family and friends of Buckinghamshire’s Dan Wheldon (1978-2011).