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He then returned to Panther Racing, before switching earlier this year to Bryan Herta Autosport, although — despite his victory in the Indy 500 in May — it was not a full-time team commitment.He was expected to sign a contract with Andretti Autosport for 2012 .It was the first Indy Car fatality since 2006, when Paul Dana died during a crash in a morning warm-up. Dan Wheldon is survived by his wife, Susie Behm, whom he married in 2008, and their two sons.NEW CASTLE, Indiana – The Dan Wheldon Memorial Pro-Am Karting Challenge made a triumphant return Sunday and was welcomed as an appropriate kickoff to racing activities for the month of May.But it’s the risk factor that makes it so appealing to me.You are driving on the limit, knowing if you go beyond it you could be history.” Wheldon did make overtures to compete in Formula One, but was rejected by both Honda and Williams.Wheldon’s annus mirabilis was 2005, when he achieved six victories and became the first driver since the start of the Indy Car Racing League (IRL) in 1996 to win the Indy 500 and the series championship in the same year.
It was his failure to secure funding to advance to Formula Three that persuaded him to try his luck in America.Although he came to love the American lifestyle, initially he suffered from terrible homesickness, flying back to Britain at every opportunity: “It was affecting my performance.I’d turn up to the track and I’d be tired and you’ve got to get in the car and qualify.In the race itself, Indy Cars jostle for position just inches apart at speeds in excess of 220mph; accidents are common.Daniel Clive Wheldon was born at Emberton, near Olney in Buckinghamshire, on June 22 1978.
Wheldon left Britain in 1999 to pursue his dream in the United States. In America, however, his achievements made him a sporting celebrity: twice a winner of the famous Indianapolis 500, he secured 16 victories in his Indy Car career and was the series champion in 2005.