Robert Wickens, Schmidt Peterson, IndyCar, Pocono, 2018

Pocono 500 stopped after serious crash involving Wickens


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The IndyCar Pocono 500 has been red-flagged after eight laps following a serious crash which launched Robert Wickens’ car into a barrier.

The Schmidt Peterson driver made contact with Ryan Hunter-Reay and spun violently after it cleared the SAFER barrier and hit the fence behind the track.

Wickens’ team mate James Hinchcliffe, Coyne racer Pietro Fittipaldi and RLL’s Takuma Sato were also involved in the crash.

The medical team were on the scene immediately after the crash. Hinchcliffe, Fittipaldi, Sato and Hunter-Reay climbed out of their cars. Hunter-Reay has visited and been released from the medical centre.

Wickens was taken from his car and placed in an ambulance. IndyCar’s vice-president of communications Curt Cavin has confirmed Wickens was “awake and alert” when he was brought to the medical centre and is being transferred to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest.

Wickens was competing in his 14th IndyCar race after joining the championship this year, and his first race at Pocono. He arrived at the round in sixth place in the series.

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Keith Collantine
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21 comments on “Pocono 500 stopped after serious crash involving Wickens”

  1. petebaldwin (@)
    19th August 2018, 19:55

    Nasty crash. Fingers crossed – it didn’t look like the cockpit got near the catch fence…….

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      19th August 2018, 20:15

      No idea if this guy is reliable, but he’s saying Wickens is apparently awake. Really hope this is true.

      1. Jim Ayello is the Indy Star newspaper’s Indycar beat writer, so he’s a reliable source.

  2. Fingers crossed.
    It was a terrible one, really ugly crash…
    I only hope that Wickens is ok.

  3. Very nasty crash, fingers crossed he is okay

  4. Hopefully he was just knock out and thats whats taking so long. But seeing the helicopter waiting to take him to the nearest hospital. Never a good sign.

    1. It does mean he is stable enough to be transported.

  5. Long time no news, that is never good.

    Fingers crossed i am wrong..

  6. He’s ok. Awake and alert. Great news.

  7. Hinch seemed to maybe break a few fingers and took a nasty hit on the helmet.
    Poor Fittipaldi, I think his racing career is over.

  8. With 3 drivers being hit by debris and Hunter-Reay nearly losing his head, a head protection device is seriously needed after this, and I think the Aeroscreen they tested isn’t the solution…
    I’m glad F1 adopted the Halo, and Indycar should do the same knowing the nature of their cars and consequences of a crash going 220 mph

  9. Hunter-Reay is a lucky guy, Wickens car chopped off his roll bar.

    1. He definitely was lucky! Wickens car hit the camera, and roll hoop cover were broken. The roll bar was in tact though.

  10. These cars are still too prone to this type of accident. Until the IRL i do not recall seeing this type of accident on ovals in the CART days either pre or post split.

    The whole IRL philosophy of not just racing but also car design seems to create the circumstances tor cars to fly on ovals.

    They should maybe look at CART as this was never an issue with those cars and the sort of oval racing they produced.

    Maybe it’s just a Dallara thing as it seems like there cars were more prone to it than the Panoz/G-force cars were when there was a chassis war in IRL.

    1. I have to disagree. Jeff Krosnoff inCART.
      What about Jacques Villeneuve in F1 in Melbourne.
      The problem seems to be the catch fence. Tons of safety improvements made with cars, barriers, run offs……
      But the fences are disintegrade anything getting into contact with it. Even Nascar.
      In this case the car going airborne wasn’t even caused by wheel to wheel contact rather than the impact with the barrier as in many crashes in the past.
      Now…. Hinchcliffe seems to have suffered injuries to his hands from debris flying into the cockpit (per NBCSN). I’m sure that the talk about the screen will intensify after this race. My question is what can be done about the disintegration of cars in the fence. What is an alternative to it. Huge plexiglass walls (like in icerinks).
      But i am so glad Everyone walked away alive from this one

      1. @us-brian Krosnoff & Villeneuve was both on road circuits with a high closing speed, i was talking about on ovals.

        you never used to see CART/Champcar cars launch into the catch fencing on ovals, yet the IRL cars were regularly getting launched into the catch fence & flipping for little reason on ovals & that is a trend that continued beyond the IRL era unfortunately.

        the IRL & post merger indycar’s have been far too prone to lifting on ovals and far too many have got into the catch fence, again this was never an issue on ovals with the CART formula cars ever. I can’t even remember a CART spec car ever getting air & hitting the catch fence on an oval ever. wasn’t something i’d ever seen until the IRL era.

        1. My mistake. I assumed you were talking about catching air in general.
          I wonder if this is coming from the floor. The last time cars went airborne without another car involved was two or so years ago. Specifically indy and dallas. I remember when the Mercedes at Lemans went up by themselves and this being due to the flat floor working like a sail in the wind once too much air got underneath.
          Could this current issue in indy actually just be because cars race a lot closer to each other on these ovals. Plus the way the safer barrier absorbs the impact and being softer compared to concrete in the past the cars tend to deflect sometimes up especially with other cars involved. Nascars like to go airborne too. But mostly only when they get pinned up against the wall. The spoiler flap on the roof prevents them from going up in the air when they spin.

  11. Horrific crash. I used to share a shifter track with him when he was a kid. I hope he’ll be OK but sounds like there are injuries to be dealt with. I wonder if that will make Alonso second guess his potential Indy Car switch.

    From Paul Tracy post: Update on @robertwickens he is ok after this terrible wreck , 2 broken ankles , arm , possible fracture vertebrae . The car held up amazingly well . And he is awake and expecting surgery tommorow morn . Get back soon my brother !!!

  12. Alonso should just enjoy his life rather than chase a win in a second rate domestic series. Hunter-Reay probably should be dead.

    1. Amen. Alonso needs to go have dinner with Jackie Stewart.

  13. This kind of sudden rotation is what caused dario franchitti’s career ending injuries. Hit the wall and the car extremely violently rotates because the wall grabs the car and puts it into this spinning motion. In franchitti’s case it was spine and brain damage. I hope he makes full recovery but I’m worried.

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