James Hinchcliffe in intensive care after Indy crash

Mon May 18, 2015 11:29pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Canadian driver James Hinchcliffe is in intensive care after crashing during practice for the Indianapolis 500 on Monday.

Hinchcliffe had surgery and was in stable condition after injuring his upper left thigh when he crashed into a barrier at high speed at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, governing body INDYCAR said.

"Obviously we're relieved that James is awake and out of surgery," said Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team owner Sam Schmidt, for whom Hinchliffe drives.

"That's the most important thing on our minds right now and we will do absolutely everything required to ensure a complete recovery."

Hinchliffe had just completed a lap at an average speed of more than 223mph (359km/h) when the crash happened.

He is the fifth driver to crash during practice for Sunday's race, but the first to be injured.

Hinchcliffe, eighth in this year's IndyCar standings, has competed in the 500 four times previously, with a best placing of sixth.

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

Verizon IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe during Pole Day for the 2015 Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports