Rookie: Dan Wheldon

IRL IndyCar Series star Dan Wheldon has been named the autosport.com Rookie of the Year at the AUTOSPORT Awards, a prize voted via an on-line poll on this web-site

Rookie: Dan Wheldon

The Briton caused a stir driving for Andretti Green Racing in the all-oval American series this year, winning the IRL's own rookie of the year award despite not competing in two of the races.

Mark Webber presented the award to Wheldon - after the Australian took a small amount of flak following his country's loss to England in the Rugby World Cup final! "I think Jonny Wilkinson is great," Wheldon chipped in when he took to the stage.

Talking about his triumph, the Briton said: "Andretti Green is a fantastic team. Michael Andretti is a tough boss, but he's good. I enjoyed it all a lot, and I'm looking forward to next year."

The highlight of his year the Indianapolis 500 - until a huge crash put him out late in the race. "The Indy 500 was a great month," he said, "apart from the last few laps! It was a great experience and I can't wait to go back."

Wheldon will be one of four Brits in the IRL next year. "It's great, especially having Dario Franchitti in the same team. Next year's going to be a strong one for the Brits."

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