Wheldon Aims for 2nd IRL Title
Wheldon's chances of challenging for a new title in the IRL took a blow at the end of last season, when Ganassi Racing decided not to renew his deal for another year. Instead, they have chosen to sign former IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti and left Wheldon no choice but to rejoin the team with whom he made debut in the series back in 2002.
However, Wheldon believes that the new rule changes in the IRL – enforced due to the economic crisis – could only benefit smaller teams like Panther Racing. Although Panther has won the IRL title in the early 2000s, the team has not won a race in the series since 2005. And the Englishman is looking forward to change that in 2009.
“I've got some great enthusiasm for this season, and I can't say how determined I am. You're definitely going to see a kid that's on a mission. There's no doubt in my mind that we need to be winning, and in the races that we're not winning, we need to be up front, and I believe we can do that,” said Wheldon in an interview for Indianapolis radio station “1070 The Fan”.
“I think with what's happened with the economy and with what's happening with the rules packages that the IRL has enforced, I think it's done everything that it possibly could to benefit a team like Panther Racing. From that standpoint, I think we're going to be in a much stronger position. want to be good everywhere, and I believe that myself and everybody at the team is capable of doing it, so watch out,” concluded Wheldon.