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Bourdais Injured in Fiery Crash

French Verizon IndyCar driver Sebastien Bourdais was running his fastest laps of the month of May when he hit the SAFER barrier in Turn 2 during qualifying today.

His crash was dramatic and frightening to see. Fortunately, he did not lose consciousness and fast work by the Holmatro Safety team ensured his quick transport to nearby Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital.

Bourdais is underwent surgery on Saturday evening after having been diagnosed with multiple fractures to his pelvis and right hip.

His team owner Dale Coyne, said, “Sebastien is in good hands here at IU…with the staff and now we just wait for him to recover.”

Qualifications will resume Sunday. It is unknown if Coyne will name a substitute driver for the No. 18 GEICO car to compete in next week’s 101st running of the Indianapolis 500.

Update 5-21-2017 2:01 pm EST – IndyCar released a statement saying the surgery was successful for Bourdais, with INDYCAR Medical Director Dr. Geoffrey Billows adding, “I’ve met with Sebastien this morning and he was doing even better than I expected.”  Additional updates on Bourdais’ condition will be released by the series once available.

Update 5-21-2017 7:16 pm EST – IndyCar released the following statement from Bourdais: “I want to thank everybody for the support and the messages, quite a few drivers have already dropped by. It’s going to take time, but I’m feeling pretty good since the surgery. I’ll be back at some point. Just don’t know when yet!”  

Updated 5-25-2017 821 pm EST – IndyCar announced on Thursday that Bourdais was discharged from IU Health Methodist Hospital on Wednesday and has been moved to a local rehabilitation facility.

“Sebastien is progressing amazingly fast for having pelvis and hip fractures, and considering the severity of the crash,” said orthopedic surgeon Dr. Kevin Scheid, an INDYCAR medical consultant. “He is walking with crutches, in good spirits and feeling good. “We expect the fractures to heal in around eight weeks and he should be able to start putting weight on the right leg then. Until that time, he can work on rehabilitating his upper body, core strength and range of motion in the hip.”

In a statement released by the sanctioning body, Bourdais said he was “really happy” to be up on his feet, walking around using crutches. 

“I’m really thankful to all the people at IU Health Methodist and the Holmatro Safety Team, everybody at INDYCAR and my team, Dale Coyne Racing, for helping me achieve that so early after the crash,” he added. “It’s going to be a bit of a long road ahead.  I still have six weeks before I can put weight on my right leg and put my foot on the ground, but after that it should be pretty smooth sailing. I’m really looking forward to the day I can get back in the car, and hopefully that will be before the end of the season. I look forward to seeing you guys at the track.”

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By Lisa Davidson

Lisa Davidson is a graduate of the University of Arizona and spent her corporate career as a Controller. She is a lifelong writer who has been covering open wheel racing since 2000 and is the author of historical articles and co-author of one book She and her husband, photographer Jeff Davidson, have two daughters and make their home in Murrieta, CA.