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2013-10-07 08:38

CRASH IN HOUSTON: Dario Franchitti (inset) is removed from his IndyCar racer by safety officials following a crash at the Houston GP in Texas. Image: AP

A horror crash landed triple Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti in hospital and left more than a dozen spectators injured. Watch the terrifying impact, close up!

HOUSTON, Texas - Triple Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti was taken to hospital following a crash at the 2013 Houston Grand Prix that left several spectators injured.

The Ganassi Racing driver's car went airborne and destroyed a portion of the fence at the Houston Grand Prix, sending debris into the packed grandstand where spectators were cheering for final lap.

Video: Dario Franchitti crashes at Houston GP

Franchitti suffered a concussion, injuries to his back and a broken ankle but was awake and alert when he was sent to hospital. He did not require surgery for the spinal fracture, IndyCar said in a statement.


Team owner Chip Ganassi said: "He's talking. His ankle is a little sore. His back is a little sore. He's going to take a trip to the hospital but he is OK."

The crash came less than eight months after nearly 30 fans were injured at the Daytona International Speedway when a 10-car crash sent debris, including a tyre, into the crowd during the final lap of a Nationwide Nascar race.

It is also nearly two years since the motor racing world was left reeling when one of Franchitti's best friends, Dan Wheldon, died after a fiery 15-car crash in the IndyCar season's finale at Las Vegas.


Franchitti made contact with Japanese driver Takuma Sato on one of the final turns, sending the four-times IndyCar champion's car into the protective fence before spinning several times, while debris was sprayed toward the stands.

Sato said: "On the last lap I caught the marbles and brushed the wall and lost momentum. A couple cars passed me as I was off-line and in Turn 5. I got very loose and Dario and I came together."

An IndyCar official and two spectators were taken to hospital for evaluation and 11 others were assisted on site.

Franchitti is a four-time IndyCar Series Champion in his fifth season with Ganassi Racing alongside double champion Scott Dixon.

Read more on:    dario franchitti  |  houston  |  texas  |  motorsport  |  crash  |  racing  |  f1

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