Dan Wheldon Gateway race report

Dan Wheldon has won the ninth round of the 2001 CART Dayton Indy Lights Championship, held today on the oval Gateway International Circuit, St Louis, USA, driving his Gemstar Communications Lola-Buick and averaging a race record speed of 140.080...

Dan Wheldon has won the ninth round of the 2001 CART Dayton Indy Lights Championship, held today on the oval Gateway International Circuit, St Louis, USA, driving his Gemstar Communications Lola-Buick and averaging a race record speed of 140.080 mph.

This victory strengthens Wheldon's prospects of moving up into the CART FedEx Champ Car World Series next season.

23-year old Wheldon -- in his 'rookie' season of Indy Lights racing -- had been second fastest in the practice laps that took place, but started the 80-lap race from third place as grid positions were determined by current Championship placings after almost all of Friday and Saturday's practice and qualifying was rained off.

In the race, Dan Wheldon was already running in a strong second position when, on lap 70, Townsend Bell -- the current Championship leader -- retired with a failed fuel pump electrical connection, leaving Wheldon victorious ahead of his PacWest Racing team-mate, Mexican Mario Dominguez.

The result is the first 'one-two' finish in the history of the PacWest Lights team. Standing on the top step of the rostrum, a jubilant Wheldon said: "We have had some bad luck ourselves this season, but the PacWest team really pushed Mario and me hard. I am very happy to win -- it helps my aspirations for next year and we'd like to get a couple more wins before the season's out."

Wheldon's success at Gateway moves him even closer to the Championship leaders and the prospect of a third consecutive Rookie of the Year award.

-CSS

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Townsend Bell , Dan Wheldon , Mario Dominguez