The IndyCar Series finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway has been red-flagged after 12 of the 200 scheduled laps following an horrific 13-car pile-up that has seen guest racer Dan Wheldon airlifted to hospital with serious injuries.
The crash was triggered by Sebastian Saavedra’s Conquest entry clipping James Hinchcliffe’s Newman/Haas car on the run into Turn 1.
Unable to control the slide, Saavedra got loose at Turn 2, triggering the pile-up further down the field.
Championship contender Will Power was one of those to be involved – his Penske getting airborne after being left with nowhere to go to – and his retirement has handed a fourth IndyCar Series crown to Chip Ganassi rival Dario Franchitti, who needed to finish ahead of Power to claim the crown.
The greatest concern is for Wheldon, whose Sam Schmidt entry flew backwards a high speed into the catch fencing. Wheldon – who was competing for a $5 million purse should he win the race from the back of the grid – was removed from the car, reportedly with serious injuries, and has been airlifted to hospital.
Rookie drivers JR Hildebrand (Panther Racing) and Pippa Mann (Rahal Letterman Lanigan) were both taken to the local medical centre complaining of dizziness.
Our IndyCar correspondent Matt Lennon is on the ground at Vegas and we will report more news as it comes to hand.
[Image via Getty]