Scheckter son in Vegas crash hell

2011-10-18 07:24

London, England - South Africa's Formula 1 World champion Jody Scheckter wants his son Tomas to quit IndyCar racing following the violent death on Sunday of Briton Dan Wheldon.

Scheckter, now 61, was watching Sunday's Las Vegas Indy 300. His son Tomas, aged 31 and an IndyCar competitor since 2002, was in the race and was involved in the chain of collisions. His father had an anxious wait before discovering that Tomas was hit in the chaos but escaped unhurt from the fiery hell of the 15-car crash.


"I've wanted him to give up for a while," Scheckter, who won the F1 title in 1979, told BBC Radio Berkshire. "I hope this will knock some sense into him and make him realise there is more to life. It really isn't worth it."

Wheldon, 33, was taken to hospital by helicopter after he was involved in a horrific crash on lap 11 of Sunday's race but died. He leaves a wife and two young children.

Asked whether the sport was safe, Scheckter added: "No. It is the most dangerous form of motor racing. I think the set-up they put in to make it more of a spectacle makes it very, very dangerous on circuits such as this (the Las Vegas Motor Speedway). Other circuits aren't as bad."

WHELDON AND HIS FAMILY: Dan Wheldon with his wife Susie and two sons Sebastian and baby Oliver.

Scheckter, who now runs an organic farm near Basingstoke in southern England, claimed the crash was "inevitable" due to the changes designed to make IndyCar more competitive, along with the number of drivers - 34 - who took part in the race.

Scheckter said he was in a hospitality suite when the crash happened and feared the worst for his son, who has competed in 115 races and won two.

"We really just hoped," he said. "I had the headset on through to his channel and I heard him say 'someone had hit me in the back' so I knew he was OK after that.

"Dan Wheldon raced with or against some of my sons in England in Formula Vauxhall. We have known him for years. He has been very successful. A bubbly guy all the time. It is very sad."

Indy racing drivers react to Wheldon's death.


  • sherwin.singh2 - 2011-10-18 10:17

    I agree to have 34 cars driving at that speed on such a small track is madness. No matter what safety features they have nothing much can save you when u crash at 340kmph. Guess when I look at it now Mad Max wasnt so mad after all.

  • James - 2011-10-18 14:49

    At Indy they routinely bunch the cars up a few laps from the end. Bring safety car out "Debris" on the track. The restart is exciting and invariably some crash. It is spectacular. I was there. They don't like Blood and bodies. In US Motorsport, Football is geared towards spectators. AT Indy they get 400,000 people.

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