It was a somber day for those competing and attending a qualifying session for the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
During the third lap of a four-lap qualifying run on Saturday (May 20), Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais slammed into a wall and flipped over, his car immediately bursting into flames.
Safety team members spent roughly 10 minutes getting Bourdais out of the car before putting him on a backboard. Track officials state that he was awake and alert when he was transported by ambulance to Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital.
Witnesses at the scene said that the accident "cast a pall – and a silence – over the usually noisy Indianapolis Motor Speedway." The tight-knit IndyCar community was shocked by the crash and many of Bourdais' fellow drivers shared concern and well wishes.
“It takes your breath away. I was watching it in the garage. That’s one of the biggest single-car qualifying crashes I’ve seen around here,” fellow driver Ed Carpenter admitted.
“As soon as I saw him correct and the angle he was going in at, you knew it was going to be big. I’m hoping he’s okay. It was good to see him moving around the amount we did see him moving around. Hopefully we’ll get some good news tonight."
Bourdais suffered multiple pelvis fractures and a fractured right hip in the horrific crash and was set to undergo surgery late Saturday.
The 38-year old has five IndyCar Series victories in the past four seasons and 36 wins total in North American open-wheel series, which ranks sixth-best all time.
Our prayers are with Sebastien Bourdais and we wish him a a full and speedy recovery.
Watch Bourdais's frightening accident in the video below.
Interested in becoming a partner?
Contact us for more info.