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Wheldon teams up with Herta for Indy 500

British driver Dan Wheldon has signed a deal with Bryan Herta Autosport to mount a campaign in this year's Indianapolis 500 in May.
Former Indianapolis 500 winner and IndyCar champion Dan Wheldon may be without a ride in 2011 after splitting with Panther at the end of last season, but at least the Briton will be competing at the hundredth anniversary running of the Indy 500.

“I'm really excited to be joining Bryan Herta Autosport for the centennial running of the Indianapolis 500 and I'm excited to announce this news in my hometown of St. Pete,” said Wheldon. “Bryan has been a friend – and a teammate – for a long time now and because of that I have the utmost confidence in him and his team to provide me with the tools to win my second Indy 500."

Wheldon, 32, celebrated the birth of his second son, Oliver, last week. He was the first Englishman since Graham Hill (in 1966) to win the Indy 500 when he won the race - and the series title - in 2005 with Andretti Green Racing, when Herta was one of his teammates along with Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan. But despite a career spanning 131 IndyCar starts - including 15 wins, 42 podiums and 61 top five finishes - Wheldon still finds himself without a full time seat in the series this year.

"At this point, I won't be a full-time IndyCar participant this season, but I don't think we will be at a disadvantage having not raced in the first four races of the season because they are not on ovals; they are running on road and street courses," he said. "We will have plenty of preparation time at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway," adding: "I think we'll be able to hit the ground running. I'm really excited about this opportunity and can't wait to get to Indy."

"It goes without saying that Dan knows his way around the Speedway,” said team co-owner Herta. "He has achieved a tremendous amount of success there and all of us have high expectations going into the month of May. No only is he a great driver, but he's a great friend. As a former teammate of Dan's, I appreciate what he brings to the table with his professionalism, determination and attitude, and it will be a big plus to us."

Bryan Herta Autosport was set up in 2009 as a Firestone Indy Lights outfit but last year fielded their driver Sebastian Saavedra (who this year will drive for Conquest) in the Indianpolis 500 and confirm that they have ambitions to compete properly in IndyCar in the future.

"We're committed to grow our team," said Herta. "We started organically with a one-car Firestone Indy Lights team and competed at Indy last year. Our goal is to be a strong team in the IZOD IndyCar Series."

Herta said that sponsorship for Wheldon's car will be announced in due course, "in addition to some other exciting things."



Related Pictures

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Dan Wheldon - Target Chip Ganassi Racing   [pic credit: IRL/Jones]
Sebastian Saavedra on course during practice at Long Beach -- Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media
Charlie Kimball, Tony Kanaan, Helio Castroneves, Takuma Sato, Mike Conway, Will Power, Scott Dixon, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan, Takuma Sato, Mike Conway, Scott Dixon, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Chevrolet Racing introduces the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Indianapolis 500 pace car Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti will drive the Camaro Z/28 to pace the 98th running of the race on May 25. It’s the eighth time a Camaro has been the pace car, starting in 1967 – and the 25th time a Chevrolet has paced the race. The 2014 Camaro Z/28 is the most track-capable model in its history, building on the legacy of the original SCCA Trans Am-series contender introduced in 1967. (Photo Courtesy of IMS Photography for Chevy Racing)
Chevrolet Racing introduces the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Indianapolis 500 pace car Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti will drive the Camaro Z/28 to pace the 98th running of the race on May 25. It’s the eighth time a Camaro has been the pace car, starting in 1967 – and the 25th time a Chevrolet has paced the race. The 2014 Camaro Z/28 is the most track-capable model in its history, building on the legacy of the original SCCA Trans Am-series contender introduced in 1967. (Photo Courtesy of IMS Photography for Chevy Racing)
Chevrolet Racing announces Tuesday, March 25, 2014 that three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti will drive a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 to pace the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 25. It’s the eighth time a Camaro has been the pace car, starting in 1967 – and the 25th time a Chevrolet has paced the race. The 2014 Camaro Z/28 is the most track-capable model in its history, building on the legacy of the original SCCA Trans Am-series contender introduced in 1967. (Photo Courtesy of IMS Photography for Chevy Racing)
Chevrolet Racing announces Tuesday, March 25, 2014 that three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti will drive a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 to pace the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 25. It’s the eighth time a Camaro has been the pace car, starting in 1967 – and the 25th time a Chevrolet has paced the race. The 2014 Camaro Z/28 is the most track-capable model in its history, building on the legacy of the original SCCA Trans Am-series contender introduced in 1967. (Photo Courtesy of IMS Photography for Chevy Racing)
Dario Franchitti reviews data in the Target Chip Ganassi pit stand at the 2014 Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park on Tuesday March 18. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson and Sebastian Saavedra fly into a corner during the 2014 Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park on Tuesday March 18. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announcement that Jacques Villeneuve will drive for them in the 2014 Indianapolis 500. Villeneuve appeared by video link, with his 1995 race-winning car pictures in the foreground. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announcement that Jacques Villeneuve will drive for them in the 2014 Indianapolis 500. Villeneuve appeared by video link, with his 1995 race-winning car pictures in the foreground. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announcement that Jacques Villeneuve will drive for them in the 2014 Indianapolis 500. Villeneuve appeared by video link, with his 1995 race-winning car pictures in the foreground. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Dario Franchitti during the press conference at the Target Chip Ganassi Racing shop. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Dario Franchitti jokes with Tony Kanaan during his press conference at the Target Chip Ganassi Racing offices. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Dario Franchitti poses with the Borg-Warner Trophy and the Astor Cup following his retirement press conference at the Target Chip Ganassi Racing offices. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Dario Franchitti arrives for his retirement press conference at the Target Chip Ganassi Racing offices. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe (second left) is announced as the fourth driver for Chip Ganassi Racing in 2014 where he will join (L-R) Charlie Kimball, Tony Kanaan and Scott Dixon. Kanaan will drive the #10 previously piloted by Dario Franchitti. Briscoe will drive the new #8 car in a multi-year contract. (Photo Credit: Lynne Huntting, presssnoop.com)

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zoom zoom - Unregistered

March 26, 2011 1:00 PM

Good to see Dan with a ride for the Indy 500 but a boy with his talent and record should be with a full time ride in this series.I guess of he was female and stood there posing for photographers in a skimpy bikini he would have a ride.



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