After a mechanical failure during a practice run yesterday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, James Hinchcliffe's #5 Honda veered into the wall and hit hard on the right side. The car exploded in a brief fireball, rolled onto its side and came to rest in the middle of the track.
Safety workers, including IndyCar's shocktroop HOLMATRO Safety Team, quickly extracted the 28-year-old Canadian and loaded him into an ambulance. It was a drama that plays out often on racetracks around the world. This time, few people knew how close Hinchcliffe came to dying.
According to Racer.com, the nearly 45-degree impact drove one of the components of the wishbone suspension through the wall of the carbon-fiber Dallara safety cell surrounding the driver. "RACER has confirmed through multiple sources that Hinchcliffe had the steel wishbone enter and exit his right leg, then enter his upper left thigh, and continue into his pelvic region before it came to a stop."
That's not good. The HOLMATRO workers and doctors in the ambulance slowed the bleeding until Hinchcliffe made it into surgery. He's expected to make a recovery, though he's most definitely out for the rest of the IndyCar season.
Photos by ASSOCIATED PRESS