RACE WEEKEND OVERSHADOWED BY INDYCAR TRAGEDY
The 2011 Indy Car finale was red flagged and finally cancelled after a horrendous multi-car pile up on Lap 11 resulted in the tragic death of 2005 champion and father of two, Dan Wheldon.
The incident was triggered at Turn 2 when light contact between James Hinchcliffe and Wade Cunningham sent the latter spinning across the track, causing a chain reaction. Several cars were launched into the air as they t-boned stricken rivals. With full fuel tanks, some cars erupted in flames, including Wheldon’s. KV Racing Technology-Lotus driver EJ Viso was collected in the ensuing pile-up but sustained no injuries.
Tony Kanaan had been on pole position that afternoon – KVRT-Lotus’ third of the year – and held that position up until the moment the race was red flagged. He therefore led a tribute procession later in the day, once Wheldon’s passing had been communicated. All the remaining cars drove five slow laps of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in front of a silent standing ovation as a bagpiper played ‘Danny Boy’.
Kanaan later wrote on Twitter: "No words to describe the pain. See you on the other side my dear friend. You will be missed."
"The entire KV Racing Technology - Lotus organisation extends its heartfelt condolences to the Wheldon family on this very sad occasion,” stated the team. “Dan was a great champion and friend, a loving husband and father. He will be deeply missed."
Dan Wheldon 1978 - 2011 - RIP