British driver Dan Wheldon has been killed following a 15-car accident at the Las Vegas 300 IndyCar series finale.
Motor racing was in mourning last night after the death of British driver Dan Wheldon in a crash at the Las Vegas 300 IndyCar series finale.
The 33 year-old, died from injuries he received in the 15-car accident. His vehicle was sent airborne over another car and clipped the fencing surrounding the track.
He was one of the most successful drivers in America and twice winner of the Indianapolis 500, the sport’s showpiece event, in 2005 and 2011.
Several cars were sent flying while others careered down the track in flames last night.
“IndyCar is very sad to announce that Dan Wheldon has passed away from unsurvivable injuries,” IndyCar chief executive Randy Bernard said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family today.”
Wheldon’s fellow drivers had been informed of his death shortly before Bernard made his public announcement.
“IndyCar, its drivers and owners, have decided to end the race. In honour of Dan Wheldon, the drivers have decided to do a five-lap salute in his honour,” Bernard said.
The crash coming out of Turn 2 of the 1.5 mile-Las Vegas oval on the 12th lap of the race left Townsend Bell’s car upside down and smoking cars and debris strewn around the track.
“I’ve never seen such a mess in my entire career on the race track,” said Danica Patrick, who was in her final race as a full-time IndyCar driver before heading to NASCAR stock car racing.
Canadian driver Paul Tracy called it “an horrendous accident”. Earlier, he had reported that a medical team was frantically attending Wheldon before the driver was airlifted to hospital.
The official confirmation of his death came two hours after the race was eventually stopped.