By: Tanner Watkins
May 16, 2019 | 12:45 PM
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has claimed its third chassis of the 2019 month of May, each coming in the last 24 hours. Rookie Patricio O’Ward crashed today at 12:17 PM Eastern, bringing out our first yellow flag period of the day.
O’Ward, who was recently signed to the Red Bull Junior Team, was following three-time “500” winner Helio Castroneves for multiple laps before the accident. On the lap of the crash, O’Ward entered Turn 2 behind Castroneves and lost the rear end of his No. 31 Chevrolet at the corner’s center.
At that point, Pato was a passenger. His Dallara IR-18 did a 180-degree spin and made hard contact into the Turn 2 SAFER barrier – with the nose hitting slightly before the left side smacked the wall.
The Mexico native’s car then came off of the wall and nearly flipped over before settling down again, sliding down the backstretch. O’Ward was able to climb out of the car under his own power and has been cleared by the INDYCAR medical team to drive.
Dale Coyne Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais was seen visiting the medical center just moments ago to presumably check in on the 20-year-old driver.
The Carlin team has been tested over the last two days. Yesterday we saw McLaren’s Fernando Alonso crash on the exit of Turn 3 and severely damage his primary car. McLaren has opted to move to their backup car for the time being, and that car was prepared by Carlin in the United States.
Members of the McLaren and Carlin teams were in the garage area until 1:00 AM working to repair Alonso’s machine, and you can expect another long night ahead tonight to get O’Ward up and running for Fast Friday.
Furthermore, O’Ward’s crash was quite similar to the accident of Felix Rosenqvist yesterday afternoon. The Swedish driver was also following one car in a draft when he suddenly lost the rear end of his No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda before spinning into the Turn 2 wall.
The left-side impact for O’Ward today was eerily similar to Rosenqvist’s misfortune yesterday.
We will continue to update this story as it develops.
Header image by James Black/INDYCAR.
Open-Wheels coverage of the 2019 month of May at Indianapolis is presented by Driven 2 Save Lives. Driven 2 Save Lives, an entity of the Indiana Donor Network, is a program that utilizes motorsports as a platform to encourage race fans to become organ donors. Currently, there are 114,000 individuals that are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Register as an organ, tissue, and eye donor at Driven2SaveLives.org/register and follow Driven2SaveLives on Facebook and Twitter.