Dallara's 2012 IndyCar chassis will be named in honor of Dan Wheldon, the Italian racing car constructor has confirmed.
Wheldon, who died from head injuries sustained in a 15-car pileup at the IndyCar season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last Sunday, had conducted all the testing of the new-for-2012 car during the second half of this year.
Company chairman Gianpaolo Dallara believes that naming the car after him is a fitting tribute to the 2005 series champion and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, who achieved all his 16 wins in the series in Dallara machinery.
"Dan lives in the memory of everybody at Dallara. He has been a true champion; not only because of his many victories, but and above everything else, because he has been a true and warm man to all the people he encountered," said Dallara. "All people at Dallara always enjoyed meeting him in Italy and in the USA. We will honor his memory for the years to come by dedicating the Dallara IndyCar 2012 in his name. He deserves that."
Dallara, has not confirmed the code name of the new car. A number of suggestions have been made, however. Among them was an idea by IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe to name it the DW 001.
Will Phillips, IndyCar's vp of technology, said that development of next year's car, which has revolved around the Dallara body kit mated to a spec chassis also designed and built by the company, said: "His input [to the program] was just fantastic; it was all about making a better product and a safer car for the drivers. It's very difficult not having his continued presence to carry it [development] through."