Tribute to Dan Wheldon to be Held in St. Petersburg

Dan Wheldon's crash in Las Vegas
ST. PETERSBURG (2011-10-17) -

The death of Indy car driver Dan Wheldon yesterday at a race in Las Vegas is hitting the Bay area hard. It was racing in the Honda Grand Prix here - and winning it - that led the British race car driver to build a home in St. Petersburg. Grand Prix General Manager and Vice-President Tim Ramsberger told Bay News 9 today that the tragedy is even more bittersweet because - off the circuit -Wheldon was testing a new, safer Indy Car chassis.

"It was a new Delora chassis that was going to roll out in 2012, and it had new safety features as part of that," Ramsberger said. "Indy wanted him to be a part of that testing of the new chassis and the new car, so it's a sad irony that Dan was out there testing the new car."

The Grand Prix and the city of St. Petersburg are still considering some sort of memorial for Wheldon, but plans have yet to be finalized. The native of England moved to St. Petersburg several years ago, and considered the city to be his home.

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster and the City Council will issue a resolution of bereavement in tribute to Wheldon at Thursday's Council meeting, at 3 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chamber, 175 Fifth St. N. Ramsberger will be in attendance.

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