helio castroneves

IndyCar Driver Fortunate to Escape Terrifying Pit-Lane Collision

How this happened, we don't know. We're just lucky his head's still attached.

by VICE Sports
23 August 2016, 9:16am

Contact is relative. To some, it means the light graze of falling autumn leaf on your be-hoodied shoulder; to others, it means the soft touch of a mother's forehead to her newborn's check.

To Brazilian-born IndyCar veteran Helio Castroneves, it means very nearly getting his head chopped off by another car.

You know, contact.

Competing at yesterday's event at Pocono Raceway, the 41-year-old was fortunate to escape unscathed after a collision on pit-lane launched the rival machine of Alexander Rossi into the air. Unfortunately for Castroneves, he happened to be filling that same air. Rossi's wheel seemed to strike the Brazilian close to where his head was protruding, but incredibly Castroneves didn't receive a scratch. His team even tried to get him back into the race, albeit to no avail.

The accident comes at a time when head protection in single-seater racing is a much-discussed topic. 12 months ago at this same race, British driver Justin Wilson was killed after being struck on the head by debris from another crashed car. IndyCar also lost two-time Indy 500 champion Dan Wheldon to head injuries in 2011. Rossi's car so nearly striking Castroneves will likely intensify calls for closed cockpits in the series.

What's certain is that Helio is a very lucky boy.