A massive crash on the first green flag lap of the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono International Raceway involving Robert Wickens, Ryan Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe, Takuma Sato, and Pietro Fittipaldi has been met with a red flag by the Verizon IndyCar Series.
Contact between the left-rear wheel of Hunter-Reay and the right-front of Wickens triggered spins that caused heavy damage to both cars, with the Canadian rookie receiving the heaviest impact as his Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda climbed the SAFER barrier and was torn apart in the steel catch fencing.
IndyCar’s AMR Safety Crew worked directly with Wickens, who appeared to be the only driver who did not climb from his car after the frightening crash and was eventually loaded into an ambulance.
“Just thinking about Robert right now. It’s unfortunate, first lap of the race,” said Hunter-Reay. “He [Wickens] had a run out of [Turn] 1, came up alongside of me, but I was in the draft of the car in front of me, so I started pulling ahead. And when we got to 2 — it’s one of those corners that, first lap of the race, I thought I’d cleared him. I even left room. Left a half of lane, if not more. I was pretty shocked I got hit in the back.
“But that’s all neither here nor there right now. We’re all just thinking about Robert.”
IndyCar has informed its teams the necessary barrier repairs will require at least one hour of work before the race can resume.
[3:09 p.m. ET] The medical helicopter has left Pocono headed for a local hospital with Wickens.
[3:23 p.m. ET] Curt Cavin, vp of communications for IndyCar: “Robert Wickens was awake and alert when he came here [to the infield medical center] and is being transported to Lehigh Valley Cedar Crest Hospital in Allentown for evaluation. We’ll have more updates later.”
[3:46 p.m. ET] Fence repair is progressing. Intention is to roll cars within the next 30 minutes.
[4:24 p.m. ET] Cars re-fire and roll away to resume the ABC Supply 500.
[4:25 p.m. ET] The ABC Supply 500 has restarted after a red flag of 1 hours and 56 minutes. Pits will open the second time by the flag stand. The restart will be the fourth time by. Leaders under caution are: Rossi, Power, Newgarden, Pagenaud, Veach.
Rahal and Pigot have been given two-lap penalties for unapproved work during the red flag.