Dan Wheldon tribute book announced at St. Petersburg

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Dan Wheldon made St. Petersburg his U.S. hometown, and it was only fitting that site served as the launch point of a tribute book to honor the two-time Indianapolis 500 and 2005 IndyCar series champion who lost his life in 2011 at Las Vegas.

The release via IndyCar is below:

As the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season gets underway in his adopted hometown, news comes of a new book paying tribute to two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon.

Written and produced by Andy Hallbery and Jeff Olson, “Lionheart – Remembering Dan Wheldon” is a high-quality 216-page book chronicling Wheldon’s life, as told by the people who knew him best: his family, friends, teammates, crew members and fellow competitors.

“The response has been truly incredible,” said Susie Wheldon, Dan’s widow. “It shows just how many people’s lives Dan touched and is a wonderful legacy for our two boys, Sebastian and Oliver. I want to say a huge ‘thank you’ to everybody involved for their dedication to creating this book, and to everyone who contributed, too.”

The book covers Wheldon’s career from karting all the way to his Indianapolis 500 wins in 2005 and 2011 and his 2005 Verizon IndyCar Series championship. It is filled with stories – some funny, some touching, but all truly captivating. Featured contributions from legendary names within the Verizon IndyCar Series and beyond, including lifelong friend and teammate Dario Franchitti, Formula One champion and childhood karting rival Jenson Button, NASCAR drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson, and many more from across the motorsport world.

The coffee-table book will be available to pre-order soon, priced at $74.99. A portion of the proceeds benefits two charities close the British driver’s heart – the Alzheimer’s Association and the DCW Foundation, created to continue the wide-reaching charitable work Wheldon started.

The book will be published in May during the lead-up to the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. Follow http://www.indycar.com or http://www.facebook.com/LionheartDW/ for more news and information on how to pre-order soon.

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III