'A lionheart' - Wheldon widow
Florida, US - Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon was remembered as a champion, loving husband, father and brother during an emotional memorial service for the British racer on Saturday.
Family members, fellow drivers and racing fans attended the service for Wheldon who was killed on October 16, 2011, in a fiery 15-car crash during the opening laps of the IndyCar season finale atthe Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
'A RARE TREASURE'
"You were a true lionheart, my love. Thank you for sharing your love and your life with me," his widow Susie wrote in a letter to her husband which was read for her at the service.
Wheldon's friend Adrian Sussmann said: "Those of us who have known Dan have been robbed of a rare treasure. Dan just loved people and they loved him back."
The service was held at the First Presbyterian Church in St. Petersburg, Florida, where the Wheldons lived with their two young sons but Wheldon grew up in Emberton, a small English village.
He won the Indianapolis 500 twice, including the 100th anniversary race in May, 2011 and the IndyCar Series driver's crown in 2005.
'BORN TO RACE'
"I know my brother was born to race and born to win," his sister Holly said in a letter read for her by driver Scott Dixon, one of Wheldon's team mates and a pallbearer with fellow drivers Tony Kanaan and Dario Franchitti and Wheldon's three brothers - Austen, Elliott and Ashley.
Wynonna Judd, sister of Franchitti's wife Ashley Judd, sang "Amazing Grace" during the service.
A public memorial service was also for Wheldon on Sunday in Indianapolis by the IndyCar organisation.