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Dan Wheldon RIP


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#1 ronmac

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 23:54

On the news just now, well known Indy driver Dan Wheldon died today while competing at the Las
Vegas race. Of the 34 starters, 15 cars were involved in the crash. Dan won the Indy 500 this year.


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#2 Vitesse2

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 00:06

I would strongly recommend that those who haven't seen it shouldn't. It's a violent and fiery multiple vehicle accident with parallels to Greg Moore's crash, Mario Andretti's "flight" at Indianapolis and the 1966 Indy start-line pile-up. Horrific. Pippa Mann, JR Hildebrand and Will Power received less serious injuries but all three were extremely fortunate.

RIP Dan.

#3 Emery0323

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 00:33

Condolences go out to his family. He had a wife two young sons under the age of three.

This would be the first Indy 500 winner to be "Killed in Action" since Mark Donohue died in 1975. What a long, safe stretch, which has tragically ended.


#4 ronmac

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 00:37

I understand that Dan was born in England ,aged 33 years ,and was due to race in a V8
Saloon in the Gold Coast 600 later this month.. RIP.
The Indy race was red flagged after only 12 laps.


#5 RStock

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 00:43

RIP Dan. A true racer and always one of my favorites.


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#6 E1pix

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 01:22

My heartfelt condolences to all: Dan, his family, friends, and teammates; racers and insiders everywhere; and the far greater numbers of Dan's fans saddened by this. A cruel blow to all of our British friends we share thoughts with here, the land of Dan's birthplace.

Terrible, speechless.

RIP, Mr. Wheldon. :cry:


[Yes Vitesse, Greg Moore was a client of mine and this brings it all back to yesterday.]

#7 RStock

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 01:41

I heard Greg Moore's dad was at the race today. One can only imagine what he was going through in all this.

#8 E1pix

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 01:44

Oh, No....

#9 URY914

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 01:51

Sad, very sad.

R.I.P. Dan.

#10 Cargo

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 03:04

I would strongly recommend that those who haven't seen it shouldn't. It's a violent and fiery multiple vehicle accident with parallels to Greg Moore's crash, Mario Andretti's "flight" at Indianapolis and the 1966 Indy start-line pile-up. Horrific. Pippa Mann, JR Hildebrand and Will Power received less serious injuries but all three were extremely fortunate.

RIP Dan.


I just saw the crash on CNN - I'm in an airport lounge - I heard the name Dan Weldon mentioned and looked up at the screen. I thought I was watching an earlier incident or something. But, no. It seems it was the actual crash. I thought there were strict rules about TV coverage when there's been a fatality? It seems not. I was a distance from the screen so picked up few details, but I was startled to see so much flames and fuel burning.

RIP Dan.

#11 gtsmunro

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 04:45

Very tragic accident. Condolances to the Wheldon family.

#12 Ingrid Merkel-Mancini

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 05:59

Dan Wheldon, Las Vegas Indy, October 16, 2011

My deepest sympathy goes out to the family, friends, and all car racing fans in the world. What a tragedy.

Respectfully submitted by: Ingrid Merkel-Mancini in San Diego, California

#13 E1pix

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 06:31

RIP Dan. A true racer and always one of my favorites.
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Painful image, but Thank You for posting it. What a sad day for motor racing.

#14 Paul Parker

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 06:41

I was at the Indy 500 in 2005 and saw Dan Wheldon win the race.

My sincerest condolences to his family, friends, fellow racers and colleagues.

#15 eldougo

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 07:12

I was watch it live while having my breakfast ,i quickly lost my appetite and went off to work so sad.He seemed like a real racer and struggled to get a full time seat.

RIP ......DAN.

#16 Michael Ferner

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 07:21

Saddened to hear this...

RIP, Dan Wheldon! :(

#17 dwh43scale

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 07:29

RIP

#18 Giraffe

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 07:30

Dan pictured by me at the Goodwood FOS on July 1st this year where I had a brief chat with him about his early days racing Formula Vauxhall Junior in the UK for Jim Lee in Batley. This reminds me how incredibly cruel the sport can be.

Posted Image
By giraffe138 at 2011-10-17
Posted Image
By giraffe138 at 2011-10-17

Edited by Giraffe, 21 October 2011 - 20:27.


#19 stevewf1

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 07:52

R.I.P. Dan.

I believe he was set to take Danica's place at Andretti Motorsports. He was a gifted driver and also a very good commentator.


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#20 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 08:22

I was by Tony when he mentioned Jim Lee to Dan at Goodwood and I was glad to see that, despite his recent success, he'd not forgotten his roots at the start of racing.

I saw him later with a huge, infectious smile on his face, thoroughly enjoying the day.

It seems unfathomable he's gone, especially when all the press in the last week was building up the hopes he would win in a race he wouldn't normally have been competing in.

As for the coverage of the crash, it's on all the news networks this morning. I wasn't expecting to see as much as I did on main terrestial television.

RIP Dan, a true champion. It's his boys I feel so sorry for, particulary poignant for me as I'm the same age as him with a young child myself. His father too, as he has lost a son and Dan's mother is very ill with early onset dementia.

#21 P0wderf1nger

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 08:38

Fortune smiled on him at Indy in May, and turned her back on him yesterday.

#22 AleSi

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 08:43

R.I.P. Dan :cry:

#23 Doug Nye

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 09:19

Sincere condolences to Dan's wife, Suzie, two children, wider family and many friends and acquaintances. Had he achieved what he achieved thirty years earlier he would have been an absolute superstar within the motor sporting world.

I know that the Indycar fraternity right now is in deep, deep shock ... and that with the series already facing many difficulties it must now confront even more. Once the circumstances of the accident have been fully established perhaps the survival of uncaged open-cockpit, open-wheeler racing itself on the wall- and fence-lined ovals may now be seriously questioned. There appear to be vivid parallels between Dan's fatal impact and Greg Moore's.

DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 17 October 2011 - 11:22.


#24 Hse289

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 09:43

R.I.P. Dan Wheldon.

I was watching the race live on tv last night and was shocked to see the crash. Condolenses to all his family and friends.

This picture is from Goodwood this year.
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#25 Doug Nye

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 11:13

From the BRDC just now - and worth sharing:


DAN WHELDON 1978 – 2011

 A statement by the President of the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC), Derek Warwick

On behalf of the British Racing Drivers’ Club I wish to extend my sincere sympathies to Dan’s wife Susie and their boys Sebastian and Oliver, as well as the rest of his family and his team following the tragic news of his death in a racing accident yesterday at Las Vegas in the final Indy Car Series round of the year.
The BRDC was 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. Two victories in the Indy 500 put him in a very select group of drivers and having won the Rookie of the Year honours in 2003 it was no surprise that he should win the Indy Car Championship in 2005.  Dan followed this in 2006 by winning the BRDC Gold Star beating the likes of Jenson Button, Mark Webber, David Coulthard and Dario Franchitti to this coveted award.

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 heart.

In the BRDC we will remember Dan as a great racing driver who was very much involved with the Club and our circuit at Silverstone during the formative years of his career.  Dan was, for many years, part of the BRDC ‘Rising Stars’ young driver programme.  So proud of this recognition was he that even after qualifying to be a Full Member of the BRDC he chose to remain a Rising Star as he felt it represented what he was and helped the Indy Car world understand where he was set on going; to the very top.  As a young driver Dan was also a finalist in the McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award on two occasions which was proof, if it was needed, that great things lay ahead of him.

When Dan did eventually become a Full Member of the BRDC he commented at the time “It is something that I have always aimed for, being such an exclusive club, and to be included in a group of such great names makes me feel very special.  I will do everything that I can to represent the BRDC in a way that makes you all very proud”.
Dan Wheldon was a great ambassador for the BRDC and motor sport generally.   He will be hugely missed.

Derek Warwick
President
British Racing Drivers’ Club
17 October 2011
 


#26 mac miller

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 13:21

Losing a top level driver in a racing crash is a noble tragedy.
Losing a top level driver in a failed publicity stunt is an unforgivable waste.

mac miller in INDY

#27 kayemod

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 13:44

Losing a top level driver in a racing crash is a noble tragedy.
Losing a top level driver in a failed publicity stunt is an unforgivable waste.

mac miller in INDY


Agreed, and a terrible thing to happen. What's been even worse though is some of the press coverage that has followed. The Daily Mail isn't noted for its high journalistic standards, though apparently it sells a lot of papers, and I found this piece on their website quite upsetting, for reasons that are all too obvious. How could anyone write an article like this and refer to the deceased as 'Mr Wheldon' throughout?

http://www.dailymail...-Las-Vegas.html

And if your stomach is strong enough, have a look at some of the comments left by Daily Mail readers, I gave up after the first few. After a very sad event, it really quite tragic that any human can think the way some of these people do.


#28 Racer.Demon

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 14:15

I agree, that's "journalism" of the lowest standard. Oh, the morality of insinuating that he drove himself to death for that 5 million prize while having absolutely no problem with showing huge full-res photos of the accident as it unfolds. :down:

RIP Dan.

As for the failed publicity stunt: I'm sure Indycar now wished they hadn't secured that ABC television contract. I've seldom seen a bigger dream turning into a worse nightmare...

#29 Keir

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 14:16

Sadly, this too is part of racing. At least Dan got to do something in which he had a passion. For that one fact, there should be no regrets.

#30 Flat Black 84

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 14:32

Wheldon was not only one of the best drivers in the world today, he was an unfailingly chipper guy, he was intelligent, articulate, and as good a racing commentator as a driver. I will miss him.

Requiescat in pacem, Dan.

#31 markpde

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 14:35

Sadly, this too is part of racing. At least Dan got to do something in which he had a passion. For that one fact, there should be no regrets.

We're just a week short of the 40th anniversary of Jo Siffert's death at Brands Hatch, and that was precisely how I felt about Seppi, even if I wasn't quite so well able to put it into words.


#32 Wolfie242

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 15:57

RIP Dan

I am not intending to be disrespectful in any way when asking the following question:

In 1994-1995 (or perhaps as late as 1996) Autosport had a report on a british 8-year old boy who died in a go-cart accident. If my memory serves me right I think the deceased boy was the younger brother of some brit who later become a famous racing driver. I think the boy was the younger brother of Dan Wheldon but I may be totally wrong on this one and I can't look it up as I don't have the magazines any more. Someone who has any knowledge on this?

#33 MCS

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 16:00

And if your stomach is strong enough, have a look at some of the comments left by Daily Mail readers, I gave up after the first few. After a very sad event, it really quite tragic that any human can think the way some of these people do.


The situation is sad enough without this shocking display of disrespect and vitriol. Other newspapers seem to be no better - some remarks being absolutely indefensible. I sincerely hope his family and friends never get to read it.

RIP Dan Wheldon. You achieved a great deal in your chosen sport.


#34 Tim Murray

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 16:28

In 1994-1995 (or perhaps as late as 1996) Autosport had a report on a british 8-year old boy who died in a go-cart accident. If my memory serves me right I think the deceased boy was the younger brother of some brit who later become a famous racing driver. I think the boy was the younger brother of Dan Wheldon but I may be totally wrong on this one and I can't look it up as I don't have the magazines any more. Someone who has any knowledge on this?

I suspect you're thinking of Daniel Spence, the brother of F3 and touring car racer Jamie Spence, who died in a karting accident in 1994, aged 9. More details here:

http://forums.autosp...a...t&p=3119822

RIP Dan Wheldon.

#35 Wolfie242

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 17:42

I suspect you're thinking of Daniel Spence, the brother of F3 and touring car racer Jamie Spence, who died in a karting accident in 1994, aged 9. More details here:

http://forums.autosp...a...t&p=3119822

RIP Dan Wheldon.


You're right. My mistake. Thank you!

#36 Hieronymus

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 18:21

Once the circumstances of the accident have been fully established perhaps the survival of uncaged open-cockpit, open-wheeler racing itself on the wall- and fence-lined ovals may now be seriously questioned.
DCN


I am sorry to learn of Dan's fatal accident.

I think Indy-Oval racing will only get a real wake-up call when a car lands amongst spectators. Impossible? No!



#37 RStock

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 19:17

Sadly, this too is part of racing. At least Dan got to do something in which he had a passion. For that one fact, there should be no regrets.


Agreed. Dan was doing what he loved to do and I cringe when I see his death described as a "waste". While it's true he probably wouldn't have been there if not for the bonus money offered, I have no doubt in my mind that Dan was a true racer and would have shown up and raced for free if he thought he had a car capable of winning.

Like I suspect many of us who love racing I've become a bit calloused over when it comes to death on track, we don't like it but we know it happens and that racing goes on afterwards. I'm sure Dan knew that too. This one however has got to me a bit, I suppose it's because Dan was always a true favorite of mine so it hits a bit closer. Not only because he seemed a genuinely nice guy but also I've always thought highly of his skill, particularly on the high speed ovals, and I believe his death has reminded myself and many others that if a guy like Dan can be taken from us in this manner, it shows it could happen to any other driver at any time. This sport has a nasty way of forcing us to remember that fact.

However, though it is a very sad and tragic thing, some good will more than likely come of it. One will be that Indy car rethinks it's commitment to these type ovals and make the needed changes, also Dan was the test driver for the new car being used next season. They say it will be a safer car and no doubt Dan's work there will go a long way in ensuring drivers in the future are not at as much risk as Dan was yesterday.

Therefore I will not label his death as a "waste" but as another unfortunate step in the direction of safety which has often come to late for fellows like Dan, but is how it has always been in racing and will always be. Hindsight is 20/20 but foresight is not always a clear thing and Dan's death has helped remove some of that fog and move us in a better direction.

#38 Aykay

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 19:22

I met Dan at the Festival of Speed also at the Autosport Show a few years ago. He had time for a quick chat,he seemed a really nice guy. He will be sadly missed

#39 ensign14

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 19:38

Sadly, this too is part of racing. At least Dan got to do something in which he had a passion. For that one fact, there should be no regrets.

His last tweet simply read "Green!"

I can't think of a more fitting tribute to him and his attitude.

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#40 Flat Black 84

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 19:45

Dan was a charger alright. He may have been the guttiest driver in IRL.

#41 E1pix

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 19:46

.... One will be that Indy car rethinks it's commitment to these type ovals and make the needed changes, also Dan was the test driver for the new car being used next season. They say it will be a safer car and no doubt Dan's work there will go a long way in ensuring drivers in the future are not at as much risk as Dan was yesterday....

That sad irony was not lost on me, either.... and that this was the last race with the older cars. Cruelty of Fate, but I agree Dan was exactly where he wanted to be. I personally believe that 33 fulfilling years is far less sad than 80 crummy ones — at least, it is for the person lost.

From the first IRL I saw on these short, high-banked ovals, I have expected this. And I agree with the comment above that eventually one will go into a crowd, and such an instance could eliminate this form of sport. Let's hope and pray this never happens. I have long pondered if spectator areas would be better off in the infield — certainly safer, anyways. In a sense, it's utterly amazing that only one didn't survive, the footage appears as entirely less fortunate than that.

RIP, Dan, you are already missed.

Edited by E1pix, 17 October 2011 - 19:49.


#42 jj2728

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 20:17

Sincere condolences to the family of Dan Wheldon. I watched the entire race and aftermath. It's a sad fact that Dan was ABC's in car announcer for this race and it was his live onboard that was being viewed as the accident unfolded.

#43 cpbell

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 21:25

RIP, and good to see the usual high standard of TNF comments being upheld, as opposed to the dreadful witterings on Racing Comments' thread.

#44 JackMcFadden

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 04:56

Hi: Please excuse my naiveté. A few random thoughts. I hate ovals, and I hate street circuits. I've been watching racing since 1959, and have seen many drivers and fans die. When a race is flat all the way, surely the brakes are useless because they don't warm up. I have heard that the modern Indy racer, when spinning, keeps his/her foot into the throttle, which is against everything learned in driving schools. And, maybe the secondary victims of this crash, didn't lift, afraid to lose a second in this expensive race. And did anyone watch the embarrassment that was the Toronto Indy race, 2011? Nothing against Dan, a great driver and a beautiful man.

cheers,

#45 cpbell

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 09:59

I personally consider any race in which the cars are continuously flat-out to be little more than a game of chance. Why the Indycars were competing at a circuit purpose-designed for stock cars is utterly beond my understanding.

#46 kayemod

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 10:14

I personally consider any race in which the cars are continuously flat-out to be little more than a game of chance. Why the Indycars were competing at a circuit purpose-designed for stock cars is utterly beond my understanding.


It's all in the sacred name of 'Box Office', did you see the size of the crowd?

#47 Flat Black 84

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 16:55

No box office, no series. No series, and not much opportunity for drivers to race.

The insistance upon utopian safety standards and records would therefore ultimately hurt precisely those the standards would be designed to protect.

#48 kayemod

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 19:32

No box office, no series. No series, and not much opportunity for drivers to race.

The insistance upon utopian safety standards and records would therefore ultimately hurt precisely those the standards would be designed to protect.


Could I suggest that that's rather looking at the situation from a 'Lions v Christians' viewpoint?

Motor racing is dangerous, it always has been, and with speeds getting ever faster, it probably always will be. Surely no-one on this thread has been asking for "utopian safety standards", but questions have to be asked about the nature of the track, the number of cars the organisers crammed on there, and the relative lack of experience of some of the participants. I'm sure you know how the event was publicised. That drew in a huge crowd, and I have an uncomfortable feeling that some of them got exactly what they wanted, though I'm sure that wouldn't include you, or anyone else on TNF.




#49 Bob Riebe

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 19:38

It's all in the sacred name of 'Box Office', did you see the size of the crowd?

Racing exists because of the box office, whether it be manufacturers selling their cars or promoters filling the stands.

I believe some "fans" (as shown by the responses on too many forums, not a personal insult) should follow less dangerous sports less their idealistic view of reality be skewed.

#50 Twin Window

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 19:47

Whilst I appreciate that comments regarding the circuit, the formula and the ability & size of the field have a relevance to the sad events of Sunday, this still remains a thread in tribute to a tragically lost talent.

From now on let us please restrict postings to the memory of Dan and not the periferal aspects of the event.

Thanks :up: