Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver James Hinchcliffe is improving and he remains in stable condition following emergency surgery yesterday at IU Health Methodist Hospital for an injury to his pelvic area and upper left thigh in a sickening crash during practice for this weekend’s Indianapolis 500.

The Canadian suffered a right suspension failure on the approach to Turn 3 and hit the outside wall at well over 330km/h. The impact, measured at 125g, caused a suspension arm to puncture the cockpit and pierce through his right thigh, with the component going on to pierce his left upper leg and enter his pelvic area.

Hinchcliffe’s surgery was performed by Dr. Timothy Pohlman, the hospital’s Senior Staff Trauma Surgeon.

Hinchcliffe suffered critical injuries to his upper legs in this frightening practice accident on Monday.

Hinchcliffe suffered critical injuries to his upper legs in this frightening practice accident on Monday.

“He’s stable and improving,” said Dr. Pohlman. “His condition was critical upon his arrival and I think the INDYCAR system as a whole needs to be commended for how well they can take care of drivers in this situation.”

Hinchcliffe will undergo further evaluations in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit and has been ruled out of Verizon IndyCar Series competition for the foreseeable future, such are the extent of his injuries.

“Words can’t describe how thankful I am to the Holmatro Safety Team,” Hinchcliffe explained.

“Those guys, in addition to the doctors and staff at the hospital, are my heroes. I can’t say enough how much I appreciate the outpouring of support from INDYCAR fans, my family and fellow drivers. We are all one big family and it feels like that today.”

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has not yet announced a replacement driver for the #5 Arrow/Lucas Oil Honda entry for the 200-lap, Indy 500 race. The most likely candidate is considered to be Franchman Tristan Vautier, who qualified the #19 Dale Coyne Racing entry that will be piloted by James Davison on race day.

Other driver up for consideration are former full-time IndyCar drivers Ryan Briscoe and Katherine Legge, although both would probably need special dispensation to race as neither has driven a 2015-spec IndyCar.

Additional updates to Hinchcliffe’s condition will be released when available.

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Michael Terminello

Journalist at MotorsportM8