rain
Monday December 10th, 2018 10:29AM

Pietro Fittipaldi with suspected broken legs after car crash

By The Associated Press

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium (AP) — Brazilian driver Pietro Fittipaldi has been taken to hospital with suspected broken legs after crashing during a World Endurance Championship event on Friday.

The 21-year-old Fittipaldi is the grandson of two-time Formula One champion Emerson Fittipaldi.

He was injured when he went off the track at high speed and hit a barrier during an afternoon qualifying session for the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps race in Belgium. He was driving for the DragonSpeed team in the LMP category, and was making his WEC debut this weekend at the famed Spa track.

Motorsport governing body FIA said Fittipaldi was "conscious at all times" as he was extracted from the car and taken by helicopter to a hospital at nearby Liege. Fittipaldi has "suspected fractures to both legs" but his condition is not life-threatening, the FIA added.

Fittipaldi is also one of IndyCar's many young rookies this season, and is at Dale Coyne Racing with Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais, a former F1 driver. He was due to make his debut at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this month when the buildup to the Indianapolis 500 begins. Instead, the team will seek a replacement driver for the second consecutive year. Bourdais broke his pelvis and hip in qualifying for the Indy 500 last year.

Fittipaldi made his IndyCar debut in April at Phoenix.

His 71-year-old grandfather won 14 races and secured 35 podiums, winning the F1 title in 1972 and 1974. Emerson Fittipaldi competed against the likes of James Hunt, Jackie Stewart, Niki Lauda and Mario Andretti in a glory era for the series. He retired from F1 after finishing fifth in 1980.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Auto Racing, Formula One Racing, Indy Car Racing
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