Dan Wheldon Laguna Seca race notes

England's Dan Wheldon scored ten more valuable points yesterday in the eleventh round of the twelve-race 2001 CART Dayton Indy Lights Championship which was held on the grueling 2.238-mile Laguna Seca Raceway road course at Monterey, California,...

England's Dan Wheldon scored ten more valuable points yesterday in the eleventh round of the twelve-race 2001 CART Dayton Indy Lights Championship which was held on the grueling 2.238-mile Laguna Seca Raceway road course at Monterey, California, USA.

Understeer problems in qualifying kept Wheldon -- winner of the previous two Indy Lights races -- down in fifth place on the starting grid and it was in this position that the 23-year old finished the 34-lap race in his Gemstar Communications Lola-Buick entered by PacWest Racing. Towards the end of the race, Dan Wheldon closed on fourth-placed Irishman Damien Faulkner, but was never able to complete a pass.

Afterwards, Dan Wheldon commented: 'I was nailed at the start by someone! My car was hit in the rear and I lost two positions right off the bat and there was no way I could climb back to the top to win this race unless several mistakes were made by the leaders. Once I fell back, I struggled because the car was very loose when I tried to lean on it and pass people. I know the car would have been quick on its own but, with this track being so tough to pass on, I just didn't have enough to make it happen.'

With the Championship now having been won by the more experienced Townsend Bell, the last race -- on the fast Super Speedway at Fontana near Los Angeles on Sunday 4 November --will give Dan Wheldon the opportunity to take second place in the series and to win the Rookie of the Year award for the third successive time in his career.

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Series INDYLIGHTS