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The Passing of Dan Wheldon

March 09, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 136

The loss of Dan Wheldon, on October 16, 2011, at the season ending event for the IZOD Indy Car Series race in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, reminds us of how dangerous auto racing can be for the driver.

Dan's death was a loss felt by the whole racing community all over the world. He started his racing career at the age of four in England racing karts. Over the years he moved up the ranks before moving to America in 1999; due to a lack of funding to keep racing in the UK. He spent his first few years competing in a few lower level open wheel series like the, USF 2000, Toyota Atlantic Series, and Indy Lights Series. He then moved up to the Indy Car Series to drive for Panther Racing in 2002 for their last two races. Then Dan moved to Andretti Green Racing in 2003, where he took rookie of the year honors! Dan won his first race at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan and finished off the 2004 season with a total of three wins for Andretti Green Racing. He won the 2005 Indianapolis 500 and the season's Indy Car Championship with his six victories for Andretti Green Racing. In 2006, Dan moved to Chip Ganassi Racing and finished second in the points for the Indy Car Series and a win at the 24 Hours of Daytona Endurance Sports Car Race for Ganassi Racing; driving with his Indy Car series teammates. In 2009, now with fifteen wins under his belt Dan moved back to Panther Racing. Dan finished second in the 2009 and 2010 Indianapolis 500 but had no wins and left Panther Racing. He won the 2011 Indianapolis 500 for his second time with Bryan Herta Auto Sports(BHAS), but it was only one race for him as that was his agreement with BHAS.

In the meantime Dan worked with The IZOD Indy Car Series and Dallara Race Cars to help them build a safer car for the driver with special attention placed on the body work of the car to keep the car from going airborne with wheel to wheel contact. He participated in testing that car on the track for the new 2012 season coming up. Dan had been offered one last race for Herta Auto sports in the season finale for the IZOD Indy Car Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Dan passed away on lap eleven, in a huge fifteen car crash in turn two, after the car went airborne; he was only 33 years old.

For Dan's hard work on the new car IZOD Indy Car Series and Dallara named the new 2012 race car the DW12 as a lasting memorial for Dan; a well deserved honor.

Source: EzineArticles
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Dan Wheldon


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