In a very unfortunate and large scale crash today at an IndyCar race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, British racing driver Dan Wheldon died due to unrecoverable injuries after his car became airborne and crashed into a wall at turn 2.
The race was canceled following the accident.
Racing is an inherently dangerous sport, even with all of the improvements in safety response, equipment and race car engineering. While it is always possible for tragedies like this to occur, it is always a sad day when the racing world loses a driver.
Daniel Clive “Dan” Wheldon (22 June 1978 – 16 October 2011) was an English racing driver. He was the 2005 Indy Racing League IndyCar Series champion, and winner of the Indianapolis 500 in 2005 and 2011. Wheldon died from injuries shortly after a collision at the 2011 IZOD IndyCar World Championship at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on 16 October 2011, at the age of 33.
Wheldon, who was born in Emberton, near Olney, Buckinghamshire, England, took up karting at the age of four with funding from his father, he progressed through the junior ranks of motor racing during his school years. Attending Bedford School until he completed his GCSEs at age 16, he frequently took time off to race. During his early career in open wheel racing, he developed a rivalry with Jenson Button before ultimately leaving the United Kingdom to race in America. The reasoning behind the move was that the level of investment needed to fund his racing career in the UK was beyond his family’s resources. Moving to the United States in 1999, he spent several years in lower open-wheeled circuits like the U.S. F2000 Championship Series, the Toyota Atlantic series and the Indy Lights series.