UK & World News
Dario Franchitti Fractures Spine In IndyCar Crash
British racing driver Dario Franchitti has fractured his spine after crashing at the IndyCar Grand Prix in Houston.
His car became airborne and then hit a fence as he tried to pass rivaláTakuma Sato on a fast section of the course.
The four-time IndyCar series champion - who was born in Bathgate, West Lothian - also suffered a concussion and broken ankle but was awake when he arrived at hospital.
The crash happened on the final lap, sending debris into crowd, injuring 13 spectators.
Franchitti's team boss Chip Ganassi said: "His ankle is a little sore, his back is a little sore. He is going to be OK."
He is not expected to need surgery for the spinal fracture.
A statement from the race promoters read: "An IndyCar official and IndyCar driver, Dario Franchitti, along with two fans were transferred to an area hospital for evaluation. 11 fans were additionally evaluated on site."
Sato appeared to lose control of the back of his car as he rounded turn five, causing him to collide with Franchitti.
"On the last lap I caught the marbles and brushed the wall and lost momentum," he said.
"A couple cars passed me as I was off line and in turn five. I got very loose and Dario and I came together. Hopefully Dario is OK."
Franchitti's wife, the actress Ashley Judd, who he separated from earlier this year, tweeted: "Thank you for the prayers for @dariofranchitti I have only clothes on my back & the dogs but that's all that we need & we are on our way."
It is nearly two years since one of Franchitti's best friends, fellow Briton Dan Wheldon,ádied after a 15-car crash in the IndyCar season-finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The Scotsman has won four IndyCaráSeries titles since joining the competition in 2007.