INDIANAPOLIS -RIS- (May 20, 2017) Former Champ Car World Series Champion and fastest practicer going into today's Indianapolis 500 qualifying, Sebastien Bourdais, was on a flying run, setting himself up as the day's fastest qualifier, when he lost control of his #18 Dallara, and hit the outside Turn 2 wall.
The day's 19th qualifier, the talented Frenchman sustained one of the biggest hits in recent memory as the he moved through his third qualifying lap.
He'd completed laps of 231.472 and 231.595 miles per hour - over a mile-per-hour faster than current-fastest, Scott Dixon - when the car twitched in mid-Turn 2. It isn't clear if the car became loose or something broke, but it appeared that Bourdais routinely corrected the wheel, and the car launched into the SAFER barrier in the outside wall.
Bourdais was seen reaching for his visor as the IMS safety crew arrived quickly on the scene, but the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Verizon IndyCar Series was slow to share video replays of the accident.
He was removed from the vehicle on a backboard, awake and alert, and was transported from the track to I.U. Health's Methodist Hospital.
Clean-up is proceeding. Scott Dixon is currently the fastest qualifier.
Tom has been a contributor to RIS since 1992. He was invited to join the staff as a full-time reporter/editor in 1995, and has covered IndyCar, Formula 1, NASCAR, Grand-Am, ALMS and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In addition to his RIS work, Tom has been a contributor for General Motors, Nissan, Toyota and the ACO.