Family pay tribute to IndyCar champ Dan Wheldon

Clive Wheldon, middle, the father of Dan making a statement with Dans brothers Austin, 26, left, and Ashley, 30, right

Clive Wheldon, middle, the father of Dan making a statement with Dans brothers Austin, 26, left, and Ashley, 30, right

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THE family of British IndyCar champion Dan Wheldon who died after a 225mph 15-car pile up during a race in Las Vegas on Sunday said he was ‘born to be a racer’.

Dad-of-two Dan was racing in the Indy 300 watched by his family and friends when his car left the track and burst into flames in the horror smash.

The 33-year-old’s Dallara-Honda car was ripped apart by the impact and despite being airlifted to hospital the British racer died from ‘unsurvivable injuries’.

Fighting back tears Clive Wheldon, 59, came out of the house around 5pm today and told assembled reporters his son died in a sport he was born to do.

“The family would like to thank everybody for their overwhelming sympathy in such a difficult time.

“Daniel was born to be a racer and yesterday he left us doing what he loved, he was true gentleman and champion on and off the track.

“He was a devoted son to Sue and myself, loving husband to his wife Susie and a loving father to his children Oliver and Sebastian.

“Words cannot describe how much our family will miss him. He touched so many and the world is a better place for him having been in it.

“We want to thank everyone for allowing us time to grieve in private.”