The death of British Indycar racer Dan Wheldon in a dreadful multi-car accident at the Las Vegas season finale has left the motor sport world reeling.
Wheldon, 33, lost his life when as many as 15 cars were involved in a chain-reaction collision at a restart on the 1.5-mile oval. His car was launched into the air and smashed into the outside wall in an impact described as “unsurvivable” by Indycar series boss Randy Bernard.
The two-time Indy 500 winner was a ‘wildcard’ entry for the 300-mile race and had started from the back of the 34-car grid as he chased a special one-off purse of $5m. Wheldon had scored a surprise second victory at Indy in May, but has not had a full-time drive in the series this year. The tragedy of his death, just five months after his last-lap victory in the 500, and in a race in which he’d been given star billing, only compounds the sense of shock and disbelief.
Motor Sport can only offer its sincere condolences and deepest sympathies to Dan’s family and his many friends in motor racing – both in the US and the UK. There will undoubtedly be more to say and write in the days that follow, but for now we can only share the sense of numb loss that fellow drivers, team and series personnel, colleagues and fans are feeling this Sunday night.