Wheldon brothers join Andretti team’s development programme

The 12 and 10-year-old sons of the late IndyCar ace Dan Wheldon have joined Andretti Autosport’s driver development programme.

Wheldon brothers join Andretti team’s development programme

Wheldon, who died in an IndyCar crash at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2011, won the 2005 series title for Michael Andretti's team when it was known as Andretti-Green Racing and scored 16 IndyCar wins in a career that included two Indianapolis 500 victories in 2005 and 2011.

The Briton had been due to rejoin the team for 2012, having lost his full-time drive at Panther Racing and agreed a part-time schedule in 2011 with Bryan Herta Autosport that famously culminated in his second 500 win when Panther rookie JR Hildebrand crashed at the final corner.

Wheldon also played a key role in developing the new-for-2012 Dallara IR-12 chassis, which was renamed the DW12 in his honour.

Under the new mentorship programme organised by Andretti, brothers Sebastian and Oliver Wheldon will carry the Andretti shield into three national level karting series: Rok Cup USA, Super Karts USA and United States Pro Kart Series while competing with JC Karting.

Sebastian, 12, and Oliver, 10, “will receive oversight and career guidance" from Michael Andretti and his IndyCar team.

Andretti Autosport CEO Michael Andretti said: “Dan was family to us, and we had a lot of on track success together. We see a lot of Dan in both Sebastian and Oliver and are very proud to officially welcome them into our racing family.

“No one will ever be able to replace Dan in their lives, but we’re happy to offer a network for mentorship to help the boys grow their careers.

“Karting is the first step, but we have hopes of helping foster promising Road To Indy, and eventually even IndyCar opportunities.”

Dan and Susie Wheldon with Sebastian and Oliver, 2011 Indy 500

Dan and Susie Wheldon with Sebastian and Oliver, 2011 Indy 500

Photo by: Motorsport Images

"I’m really excited to be a junior driver for Michael Andretti and follow in my dad’s footsteps,” said Sebastian Wheldon.

"I hope Oliver and I can both win the Indy 500 too.”

Oliver Wheldon added: "It would be so cool to race for Andretti Autosport one day. I think we will get to win a lot of races, just like my dad.”

Dan Wheldon's widow Susie added her thanks to the team for lending its support.

“I am so grateful to Michael for taking Sebastian and Oliver under his wing,” she said.

“The junior ranks of racing are so difficult to navigate and to have the support of Andretti Autosport’s engineering resources will, I’m sure, make all the difference.

“I am reminded of Dan every time the boys pull on their helmets as they have the same determination and winning attitude.

“They often show some of Dan’s other traits too. Good luck, Michael - #DoubleTrouble!”

shares
comments
St. Petersburg IndyCar: Newgarden quickest from Rossi in FP2

Previous article

St. Petersburg IndyCar: Newgarden quickest from Rossi in FP2

Next article

St. Petersburg IndyCar: Herta denies Harvey pole, Power struggles

St. Petersburg IndyCar: Herta denies Harvey pole, Power struggles
Load comments

About this article

Series IndyCar
Author David Malsher
Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life Plus

Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life

After spending the majority of his 179-race Formula 1 career in middling to tail-end machinery, Romain Grosjean finds himself once again with an underdog team in IndyCar. While not without its challenges, he's relishing the more level playing field that means his Dale Coyne Racing crew can expect to claim a few scalps...

IndyCar
May 14, 2021
How Herta's aversion to complacency spells bad news for his IndyCar rivals Plus

How Herta's aversion to complacency spells bad news for his IndyCar rivals

Colton Herta's dominant IndyCar win on the streets of St. Petersburg confirmed what rivals have long-suspected - that the second-generation racer is destined for stardom. But it was Herta's comments afterwards that gave perhaps the most interesting insight into a driver that will be around for a long time to come

IndyCar
Apr 29, 2021
How good is Palou - and can he be Dixon's main IndyCar title rival? Plus

How good is Palou - and can he be Dixon's main IndyCar title rival?

Last Sunday, Alex Palou delivered his first IndyCar victory on his Chip Ganassi Racing debut. Is the young Spaniard going to become his legendary teammate Scott Dixon’s biggest title threat? DAVID MALSHER-LOPEZ investigates Palou's potential

IndyCar
Apr 21, 2021
Can Penske redress the balance in IndyCar's battle of the titans? Plus

Can Penske redress the balance in IndyCar's battle of the titans?

IndyCar's gold standard teams Ganassi and Penske are set for another slugfest beginning this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park. A poor start to the first season with the new aeroscreen left Josef Newgarden with too much ground to make up on Scott Dixon in the title chase, but his strong end to 2020 suggests a battle royale lies ahead...

IndyCar
Apr 16, 2021
The six major IndyCar subplots to follow in 2021 Plus

The six major IndyCar subplots to follow in 2021

From rookies arriving with big reputations to veterans who still have the fire and an F1-linked squad pushing to join the big leagues, IndyCar has it all this year. Here are six of the key storylines to keep track of

IndyCar
Apr 15, 2021
The Indycar season that proves Michael Andretti is better than F1 showed Plus

The Indycar season that proves Michael Andretti is better than F1 showed

Often unfairly characterised as a car-breaker, judged for his lack of an Indianapolis 500 win and a disappointing part-season of Formula 1 in 1993, Michael Andretti was highly respected by his rivals and only thwarted greater success by ill-fortune. When it all came together in 1991, he was a truly formidable force

IndyCar
Mar 6, 2021
How McLaren is striving towards IndyCar's elite Plus

How McLaren is striving towards IndyCar's elite

The second year of McLaren's full-time IndyCar return is looming, with Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist leading its line-up. Strong team personnel and work behind the scenes means that 2021 could be the year it joins the established elite

IndyCar
Feb 21, 2021
The enigmatic legacy of a misunderstood Indy stalwart Plus

The enigmatic legacy of a misunderstood Indy stalwart

Flashes of brilliance amid spells of obscurity have been too common for Marco Andretti. While the third-generation racer has opted to bring his full-time IndyCar career to a close, his peaks and troughs have never been for want of trying

IndyCar
Jan 20, 2021