Bourdais undergoes surgery after Indy crash

Sebastien Bourdais at IndyCar (Getty Images)
Sebastien Bourdais at IndyCar (Getty Images)

Indianapolis - French driver Sebastien Bourdais underwent successful surgery for pelvic injuries he suffered in a fiery crash while trying to qualify for the Indianapolis 500, IndyCar officials said on Sunday.

Bourdais suffered multiple fractures to his pelvis and a fractured right hip Saturday when his car slammed into the outer wall of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2.5-mile (4km) oval.

"Surgery went well," IndyCar medical director Geoffrey Billows said. "I've met with Sebastien this morning and he was doing even better than I expected."

The 38-year-old from Le Mans led Friday's final full practice session and had driven the two fastest laps Saturday to start his four-lap qualifying run, averaging 231.534 mph (372.617 km/h) in his Honda-powered entry.

But the car slammed into the wall in turn two on the third lap and flipped over as flames erupted from the chassis. It took rescue workers about 10 minutes to free Bourdais from the wreckage.

Bourdais never lost consciousness and was awake and alert when taken to Methodist Hospital, where X-rays revealed the extent of his injuries.

Car owner Dale Coyne said Sunday that Bourdais will miss the remainder of the 2017 IndyCar season as a result of his injuries, needing six to eight weeks on crutches before he can began rehabilitation of his injuries.

Coyne plans to find a replacement driver for the Frenchman, who won four ChampCar-era season IndyCar titles from 2004-2007 before jumping to Formula One for 2008 and 2009.

Bourdais' 35 IndyCar wins rank sixth on the IndyCar career victory list.

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