British racing driver Dan Wheldon has died from injuries sustained in an accident at the IndyCar Las Vegas Indy 300. He was 33. Wheldon, who won the championship in 2005 as well as the Indy 500 in 2005 and 2011, was racing in the event – the season finale – in an attempt to win a $5m jackpot available to any guest driver who won the race. In a fitting tribute to the man’s character, he had planned to split this with a fan via a competition. He was working his way through the field on lap 11 when a multiple-car accident occurred, in which his #77 car was caught up. He was airlifted to hospital but succumbed to his injuries at 1:54pm local time. IndyCar called off the race after the news was confirmed, and the drivers performed a 5-lap salute in his honour. His countryman Dario Franchitti has secured the title, albeit in circumstances no one would have wished for.

I offer my condolences to Dan’s family and friends, and to the IndyCar community, all of whom will be deeply affected by this tragic news. He was also well known among the F1 fraternity, including Jenson Button and Anthony Davidson whom he raced against in go-karting, both of whom have expressed their shock and sorrow. British motorsport, and motorsport in general, has lost a talented ambassador and a great man.

Erratum: An earlier version of this post stated that Dan won the Indy 500 in 2010 as opposed to 2005. This error was corrected as soon as it was spotted.