Indianapolis: Canadian race car driver James Hinchcliffe was in stable condition Monday after undergoing surgery on his upper left thigh following a high-speed crash during practice for the Indianapolis 500.
The 28-year-old Toronto native, who is the latest driver of several to crash during practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway track, hit a barrier in turn three after apparently experiencing mechanical problems with his race car. Following the surgery, he was moved to the Indiana University Methodist Hospital's intensive care unit. "Obviously we're relieved that James is awake and out of surgery," said Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team owner Sam Schmidt.
"That's the most important thing on our minds right now and we will do absolutely everything required to ensure a complete recovery." Less than an hour after the start of Monday's practice session, Hinchcliffe shot up the track and slammed hard into the barrier. The car then spun down the track and briefly rolled on to its side before it landed back on its wheels and stopped.
Emergency crews arrived on the scene immediately and helped Hinchcliffe get out of the heavily-damaged vehicle. Hinchcliffe was conscious as he was placed on a backboard and transported to the hospital. His accident is the fifth major one at this famed four kilometer (2.5-mile) oval in the past week, as IndyCar Series drivers get ready for the 99th Indy 500 on Sunday.
Helio Castroneves, Josef Newgarden and Ed Carpenter were involved in spectacular crashes in which their cars went airborne. Pippa Mann spun out while exiting turn four and made hard contact with the inside wall. None of the drivers were seriously injured.