BRDC MEMBERS LEAD TRIBUTE TO DAN WHELDON
BRDC Members led by Oliver Gavin and Richard Westbrook will pay tribute to countryman Dan Wheldon at this weekend’s Armor All Gold Coast 600 V8 Supercar event. Wheldon tragically passed away following an IndyCar accident in Las Vegas last weekend. He was scheduled to race alongside James Courtney at the Surfers Paradise street circuit this weekend. Both Oliver and Richard are life long friends and rivals of their countryman Wheldon.
All six United Kingdom drivers in this weekend’s Armor All Gold Coast 600 field today unveiied special visor stickers in memory of Wheldon in pit lane at the Surfers Paradise street circuit. All BRDC Members present at this weekend’s event will carry the special visor stripe stickers as a tribute to Wheldon. They are the British drivers Richard Westbrook, Oliver Gavin, Andy Priaulx, Marino Franchitti, Richard Lyons and Darren Turner, Australians Ryan Briscoe and Alex Davison, Italian Emanuele Pirro and Brazilian Gil de Ferran. Richard will partner Todd Kelly in the #7 Jack Daniel’s Commodore at the Armor All Gold Coast 600, while Oliver will drive alongside Greg Murphy in the #11 Pepsi Max Commodore.
“I think it was really positive honouring Dan and the great man that he was,” said Richard Westbrook. “Personally, I remember him at a young age when he was karting. When he was about eight years old he came onto the karting scene. I had already been karting for a couple of years and to me he took it to a new level in karting. He arguably helped people like Jenson Button get to Formula 1 because Dan took karting to a new level at that time and even though he was younger than me I was super-impressed by him. He was so quick, so fast, so professional but a really cheeky chap as well. It's just so sad what has happened. I think it's important that we do something to remember his name.”
“As soon as the gravity of the situation became apparent with what happened with Dan, every member out here (on the Gold Coast) from the British Racing Drivers' Club wanted to do something to remember Dan,” said Oliver Gavin. “So we had these visor stickers made up and every BRDC Member is going to carry one on their helmet, which I think is a great tribute to Dan and also to remember that he was a Member of the British Racing Drivers' Club and a really high achiever. He was the winner of the Gold Star in 2006, which is the highest accolade you can win within our club. That year when he won he beat the likes of Jenson Button, Mark Webber and David Coulthard to that Gold Star. When you are beating guys like that you go 'that's pretty impressive'. It's great that we could do something to remember him by, but it's with heavy hearts that we are doing it. This weekend is going to be a lot about remembering Dan and I know that V8 Supercars is going to be doing something on Saturday to remember, but we wanted to do our own thing as well. It's great that we managed to get all of the British drivers together to do a photo and remember him."
Photo and Press Release courtesy of Kelly Racing