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IndyCar winner honours Wheldon

2012-03-26 11:25

Brazil's Helio Castroneves was victorious during the IndyCar Series season-opening race and celebrated the win with an emotional tribute to deceased driver Dan Wheldon.

After taking the chequered flag during the St. Petersburg Grand Prix, Castroneves stopped his car at turn 10, climbed a fence and patted a green-and-white street sign honouring Wheldon.

Wheldon, a double Indianapolis 500 winner and 2005 series champion, was killed late in 2011 during a 15-car smash at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The GP on Sunday, March 25 was the first race since then.

TRIBUTE TO WHELDON

Castroneves said: "Honestly, I did not plan it. It was just the way it happened.

"There was the sign Dan Wheldon Way. For me, and for all of us - the drivers and the fans - we'll certainly we'll miss having him here but we've must remember him as he lived, the way he lived, and continue to pray for his family," he said.

Castroneves finished 5.529sec ahead of Scott Dixon. Ryan Hunter-Reay was third and team mate James Hinchcliffe was fourth.

AFP