The death of British IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon has shocked the racing world. The 33-year old died after a devastating 15-car pile-up at the Las Vegas Motor speedway yesterday (Sunday). Sports Mole takes a closer look at the career of the 2005 and 2011 Indianapolis 500 winner.
Born in Buckinghamshire in 1978, Wheldon began karting at the age of four.
He developed a rivalry with future Formula One driver Jenson Button during his teenage open wheel racing years.
Wheldon moved to the US in 1999 due to the financial restraints of developing a racing career in the UK. He spent several years on lower open wheel circuits such as the US F2000 Championship Series, the Indy Lights and the Toyota Atlantic series.
He progressed to the IRL IndyCar Series in 2002 and won the Rookie of the Year award in 2003.
Wheldon won his first IRL race at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan in 2004 before taking the 2005 IRL IndyCar Series Championship with a record-breaking six wins in one season.
In 2008, he achieved his 15th career victory in the IndyCar Series after winning the Iowa Corn Indy 250 on his 30th birthday.
Wheldon won the Indianapolis 500 earlier this year, becoming the first driver in Indy history to win by leading a single lap.
Wheldon was involved in a 15-car accident during the IZOD IndyCar Series season finale at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on October 16, 2011. He was airlifted to hospital, but later died as a result of his serious injuries, aged 33.
He is survived by his wife, Susie, and his two young sons, Sebastian and Oliver.