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Wheldon wishes for Silverstone race.

Dan Wheldon has admitted that he wished the Indy Racing League could find the means of incorporating a little slice of home into future schedules with a trip to Silverstone for an overseas round.

Asked which circuit he would like to see on the calendar that wasn't currently included, the Briton initially opted for Road America but, realising that he could be as random as he wished, altered his choice to include the soon-to-be-former home of the British Grand Prix, a circuit he knows well from his formulative years in junior single-seaters.

"I love Road America, as I think it's a great racetrack and, if I had to choose a racetrack that we could realistically go to, I think that would be a great one," Wheldon noted, "But I'd also love the series to go to Europe.

"Formula One is not going to Silverstone any more, and I think that would be a great event. The IndyCar Series has not only grown in America, it seems to have grown a lot in Europe now with the help of Sky Sports and, just with the fact that the series is becoming more and more popular, I think my dream race would be to be at Silverstone."

Ironically, Wheldon lists the series' only other overseas race, at Motegi, as probably his favourite of the year. With plans to race at Surfers Paradise falling through, the Honda-owned oval is the only venue outside of the USA and Canada to feature on the IndyCar schedule and, this year, provides the penultimate test before Homestead's finale.

"I love the Japanese race," Wheldon admitted, "That's very special to me because, obviously, it was the scene of my first win. I've been with Honda now for, I think, about seven or eight years, so it's a special track for them too. I just love the layout of the racetrack. It's very, very challenging and. if you get a good race car there, it gives you great satisfaction to drive. I've always been successful there, so that helps.

"But I like Homestead a lot, I like Kansas, I love Sonoma, I love Watkins Glen - I have to say that I'm not a very good person to ask this question because I like a lot of the tracks on the schedule. I love Richmond too.... They're all good for different reasons.

"There's the ones that I haven't won at, there's some of them that you just want to win. Richmond is a great place to win, I love Milwaukee, as I think anybody that wins around there has really shown that they can drive a short oval. But I'd have to say Iowa too, because they have great trophies....

"I really enjoy all the different types of disciplines that we go to. You go to a three-quarter mile track at Richmond and then we go to a real big oval like Indianapolis or on the streets of Long Beach. We go to Watkins Glen, we've got the one-mile up in Milwaukee. It's incredibly challenging, and I enjoy that aspect of it."

Having a little 'home advantage', even for someone as acquainted with the US as Wheldon has become, would be useful in a series that the Briton reckons has stepped up a notch since the reunification with Champ Car.

"I think it's certainly evolved since I first raced in 2002," he concluded, "The competition level now is very, very intense and I think, even with the tough economic times that we have ahead of us, the series continues to thrive. With partners like National Guard being involved with Panther Racing, with Honda and Firestone and Dallara, I expect it to just get stronger and stronger."


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MartinBaugh

April 10, 2009 6:16 PM

With the current poor state of F1 I think an Indy Car race at Silverstone would bring very large crowds. It has all the ingrdients to make it a winner close racing a lot of overtaking all the things that are missing from F1. Please Indy Racing League make this happen.

Jon Furneaux

April 10, 2009 12:42 PM

If IndyCar was to ever come to the UK, I'd much rather see an oval race at Rockingham. And hopefully by then IndyCar would offer something more exciting than those ugly Dallaras... ideally in an open engine AND chassis formula.



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