Pocono 500 crash: Robert Wickens airlifted to hospital, race red flagged

IndyCar’s ABC Supply 500 race at Pocono has been red-flagged after a high-speed crash involving five drivers.

Schmidt Peterson’s Robert Wickens and Andretti’s Ryan Hunter-Reay collided through Turn 2 on Lap 7 – effectively the first racing lap after an early caution period.

Wickens got a run on Hunter-Reay out of Turn 1 and went to move up on the Andretti Autosport driver on the inside of Turn 2.

The pair touched in the middle of the corner and Wickens was sent airborne and launched into the catch fencing, flying perilously close to Hunter-Reay’s cockpit.

IndyCar communications chief Curt Cavin confirmed that Wickens was "awake and alert" when brought to the medical centre, and has since been transported to the nearby Lehigh Valley hospital by helicopter. Further details of his condition have not been released.

Also caught up in the crash was Wickens' Schmidt Peterson team-mate James Hinchcliffe, who slid to avoid the crash in front of him and was heavily collected by Dale Coyne’s Pietro Fittipaldi.

Hinchcliffe walked away holding his wrists while Fittipaldi – who sustained a leg injury earlier in the year – has complained of pain in his right ankle, having taken some air in the collision.

Championship leader, Scott Dixon said to NBC: “It was right in front of me. The start was horrible. They should have got a penalty for that. It looks like two cars touched and caused a chain reaction. I just hope everyone is alright.”

The race has been red-flagged due to the damage sustained to the catch fence from Wickens’ car.

A restart time has not yet been issued.

Video of the crash can be seen here.