IndyCar star Will Power is ready to mount a new title challenge in 2012 despite still feeling the physical and mental affects of the season-ending crash which killed English driver Dan Wheldon in Las Vegas.
Power injured his back in the fiery wreck at the final Indy race of 2011 in October, the smash ending his championship dream as well as tragically claiming the life of Indy 500 winner Wheldon.
It meant for the second year the Australian had finished behind Scot Dario Franchitti in the championship but Power said Wheldon's death had made his disappointment trivial.
"In many ways this was the best year of my career, yet it obviously turned out to be a very sad season as well with the tragic ending to 2011," Power wrote in an end-of-year blog for the IndyCar website.
"We earned a lot of poles, won a lot of races and captured the Mario Andretti Road Course championship for the second consecutive year.
"In the end we found out in the most painful way possible that chasing a championship means nothing when compared to losing part of our racing family.
"It's hard to move on, but racing is what we do and I can't wait to get to St. Pete (1st round, 2012) and begin a new era of IndyCar racing next spring."
Power was one of the drivers who spoke of their fears surrounding the Las Vegas speedway circuit before the fatal race.
Las Vegas has since been dropped from the 2012 IndyCar schedule, which gets underway on March 25 in St Petersburg, Florida.
And Power believes the positive that can come from Wheldon's death is an improvement to safety.
"I truly believe that our series will learn from Dan's passing and I know that safety and finding the best possible formula for our cars are the most important things we can do this off-season," he wrote. Perthnow.com
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