Race club pays tribute to great motorsport talent

<<enter caption here>>  on October 14, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

<<enter caption here>> on October 14, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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DAN WHELDON: The organisation at the heart of British Motorsport was in mourning this week following the death of one of its risings stars last weekend.

33-year-old Dan Wheldon from Olney in Bucks died following a 15 car pile-up during the Las Vegas Indy 500 on Sunday.

Mr Wheldon was among a select group of drivers having won two Indy 500 races and was given the Rookie of the Year honours in 2003. He went on to scoop the championship in 2005. In 2006 he won the British Racing Drivers’ Club Gold Star beating Jenson Button, Mark Webber, David Coulthard and Dario Franchitti to the coveted award.

BRDC president Derek Warwick led the tributes and offered his condolences to Mr Wheldon’s family, including wife Susie and sons Sebastian and Oliver

Mr Warwick said: “The BRDC is extremely proud of Dan and all that he achieved and was achieving in the United States. He was undoubtedly one of the great talents of his generation as his racing results testified.

“Dan was a true professional and a great ambassador for the sport. He was highly focused in the way he approached his racing and a real perfectionist. He pushed himself, and those he worked with, hard to produce results that were worthy of his talents and that fed his insatiable hunger to win.

“With his film-star good looks and athletic prowess, it was no wonder that the American public took him to their hearts.”

Mr Wheldon was closely involved with the BRDC and the Silverstone circuit during the formative years of his career. He was part of the ‘Rising Stars’ young driver programme and remained in the programme after qualifying to be a full member of the BRDC As a young driver Dan was also a finalist in the McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award on two occasions.