'Violent and terrifying' crash rocks motorsport world

An IndyCar driver has been hospitalised after a horrific crash at the same track where a fellow driver died in 2015.

Robert Wickens is in hospital after a violent and terrifying crash during the IndyCar Series race at Pocono on Sunday.

Wickens was tended to by IndyCar safety personnel after the crash.

IndyCar said Wickens was awake and alert when he was taken to the infield care centre and was airlifted to a hospital in nearby Allentown, Pennsylvania, for evaluation.

Two other drivers, Pietro Fittipaldi and James Hinchcliffe, underwent X-rays at the infield care centre following the crash.

Robert Wickens was hospitalised after this. Source: NBC

IndyCar said Sunday evening that Wickens had suffered “orthopedic injuries” in the crash.

The 29-year-old Canadian driver was attempting to pass Ryan Hunter-Reay when the two cars slightly touched.

That caused Hunter-Reay’s car to careen into the wall and Wickens’ car was pulled along for the ride.

Once Wickens’ car soared over Hunter-Reay’s and hit the fence, it spun round and round like a top.

The fencing was shredded and Wickens’ car was reduced to just the tub, which came to a rest on the track along an interior wall.

The car of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver Robert Wickens (6) of Canada is bagged up and towed into the garage area after an accident during the IndyCar Series at Pocono Raceway. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Medical workers calmly attended to Wickens, who was taken to an ambulance before he was transported to the helicopter.

The impact of the wreck tore out a large section of fencing that needed almost two hours to repair.

Alexander Rossi won the race and said it was ”tough to celebrate” with Wickens in the hospital.

In 2015 at Pocono, Justin Wilson died from a head injury when a piece of debris from a crashed car bounced off the track and hit his helmet.

”That’s the worst thing you can see. He’s hurt. He’s awake and alert and at least he’s alive,” driver Sebastien Bourdais said.

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver Robert Wickens (6) of Canada during driver introductions prior to the IndyCar Series ABC Supply 500 on August 19, 2018, at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, PA. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Pocono Raceway president Ben May said about 80 feet of fence and a few posts were damaged in the wreck. Bourdais raised concerns about the quality of the repairs and condition of the fence before he got back in the car.

”It may not be the prettiest job but it’s going to be safe,” May said.

Bourdais said the repairs were ”pretty lousy.”

The crash was a grim reminder how drivers in open-wheel racing put their lives on the line.

Hinchcliffe survived his own life-threatening injury when a broken part from his car pierced an artery during a 2015 crash at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Hinchcliffe would have bled to death if not for the medical team holding the artery together as it raced him from the track directly to a hospital.

A year earlier, Hinchcliffe suffered a concussion when he was hit in the helmet by a piece of debris on the road course at Indianapolis.

with agencies