Sebastian and Oliver: Dan Wheldon’s Sons Are Now Continuing His Legacy

If there’s one thing absolutely nobody can deny, it’s that October 16, 2011, is etched in the mind of every professional motor-racers as arguably one of the most tragic days for their sport. After all, that’s when renowned IndyCar Series Driver Dan Wheldon sadly lost his life following a collision at the season-ending IZOD World Championship at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. However, as carefully chronicled in HBO Max’s ‘The Lionheart,’ this didn’t stop either of his sons from following in his footsteps because even they now feel racing is more than just a sport.

Who Are Sebastian and Oliver Wheldon?

It was around 2004 when Emberton, England native Dan first came across Susie Behm of Armstrong, British Columbia, within the IndyCar circuit, only for them to soon begin working together. Little did either of them know their professional involvement as employer-personal assistant would quickly evolve into much more, ultimately leading to them happily tying the knot in 2008. That’s when they settled in St. Petersburg, Florida, where they welcomed two beautiful sons into their lives — Sebastian Wheldon in February 2009, followed by Oliver Wheldon in March 2011.

These boys were thus merely two years and seven months old when they sadly lost their father, just to then somehow grow up developing a deep passion for racing too — exactly like Dan. Susie admittedly never dissuaded them from pursuing the same despite their past, yet she did question them a lot until they made it clear that being behind the wheel brought them peace. In fact, per the aforementioned original, this sense of solace had everything to do with their dad as driving bridged an unforeseen gap by making them feel closer to him than ever before.

“We had so many talks about it where I was like, ‘Are you sure?'” Susie recently candidly revealed to People. “It got to the point where they were like, ‘Mom, stop asking us. Yes, this is what we want to do!’ They were annoyed by me, so I was like, alright.” She hence threw herself into being a racing mom even with all her worries; plus, she actually went as far as to relocate from their family home to ensure Sebastian and Oliver could get as much practice as required to do well. “It’s a different lifestyle from most and a sacrifice, but I get so much joy from it, from being there with them and watching them race,” she said. “… I’m so proud of how they’re brothers. They’re competitive, but they’re each other’s best friend.”

It thus comes as no surprise Sebastian and Oliver were competing in kart races by the time they were 10, with concrete plans to move forward to open-wheel racing when the time was right. Their motive for this has reportedly always been to be closer to their dad, all the while not only joining the system that can push them to glory but also going much beyond to keep Dan’s legacy alive. So, of course, they were signed by Andretti Autosport’s Development Programs in 2021 — though this had little to do with their last name and more to do with their sheer inherited talent as well as skills.

Where Are Sebastian and Oliver Wheldon Now?

It was back in 2023 that Sebastian moved forward to open wheels, just to finish his rookie season with six wins, 13 podiums, plus the drivers’ title in the Skip Barber Formula Racing Series. This was actually significant since it helped him land a spot in the USF Junior Series with VRD Racing in the 2024 season, which is estimated to further boost his career to unimaginable extents, maybe even to Formula levels. The fact this 15-year-old already has Andretti’s backing plus a few sponsorships also seemingly his position in this world of racing these days, so we can’t wait to see how he continues performing.

Coming to Oliver, this 12-year-old recently stepped into open wheels com petitions too – he joined the Skip Barber Formula Racing Series in early 20 24 and has since already gotten on the podium. In other words, with the constant, unwavering support of their mother Susie as well as the ingrained intricate tendencies of their father Dan, Sebastian and Oliver are utterly thriving at the moment. Susie still sometimes struggles with the idea of her sons racing, especially as their levels keep on advancing, yet she does have faith in her boys and in a higher power that everything will be okay.

“It’s definitely a different type of mindset,” Susie recently said, referring to the racing industry as a whole before moving on to Sebastian and Oliver. “But I am a mother first, and your natural instinct is to protect your kids. But seeing them in what they’re doing, how they are fulfilled, and how happy, it’s brought me so much joy and healing. I mean, every day is different, but some days are still very hard. But for the most part, I’m just really proud of them and what they’re accomplishing… [Yet] I pray for their safety, for them to do well. As they got older, and as they were moving up through the ranks, obviously it got more dangerous. Certainly it’s more competitive, and you get faster and it’s serious. It’s not for everybody.”

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