The death of British IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon has sent shockwaves around the racing world. The 33-year old died after a devastating 15-car pile-up at the Las Vegas Motor speedway yesterday (Sunday).
Tributes to the 2005 and 2011 Indianapolis 500 winner have poured in from across the IndyCar world.
"I first met Dan when I moved to Europe in karting in the mid-90s, we knew each other a long time and considered ourselves friends," said fellow driver James Courtney.
"Today is difficult for those of us who have lost a mate."
2011 IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti tweeted: "Rest in peace Danny boy, we'll miss you my friend. Everyone please keep the Wheldon family in you thoughts and prayers."
Sam Schmidt, owner of the No.77 car in which Wheldon lost his life, said: "Dan Wheldon was a tremendous competitor, a great racer and an even better person. It was an honour to have him be a part of our team."
Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp. president and CEO, said: "We are incredibly saddened at the passing of Dan Wheldon. He was a great champion of the Indianapolis 500 and a wonderful ambassador for the race, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and all of motorsports."
Newman/Haas Racing driver James Hinchcliffe said: "It's a black day for the sport. We came in here hoping for a good season-finale and ended up losing a very close friend and a very good racing driver. I think Dan was coming into his second wind as a driver. He had so much success early on and he was getting back into that."
Jenson Button, who beat Dan Wheldon to the 1998 British Formula Ford title tweeted: "Just woken up to the most horrific news.. Dan Wheldon RIP.
"I have so many good memories of racing with Dan in the early 90's, a true fighter. We've lost a legend in our sport but also a great guy."
ESPN motorsport reporter Jamie Little said: "Great memories. Great friend. Amazing talent. Thank you for your constant smile and endearing spirit. We lost a great one today."
Dan Wheldon is survived by his wife, Susie, and his two young sons, Sebastian and Oliver.