IndyCar: Hinchcliffe “progressing well” but not yet cleared to drive

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Three days after getting hit in the helmet by a piece of bodywork during the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and being diagnosed with a concussion, James Hinchcliffe is “progressing well” according to INDYCAR medical director Dr. Michael Olinger but has not yet been cleared to drive.

In a medical update released this afternoon by INDYCAR, it was disclosed that the Andretti Autosport driver was evaluated today by the series’ medical team in conjunction with its neurosurgical consultant.

While Hinchcliffe was not cleared to return to the cockpit of the No. 27 United Fiber and Data Honda, Olinger said that he has been cleared to resume “light training” with his athletic trainer.

The update states that Hinchcliffe will be re-evaluated on Thursday.

On Lap 57 of Saturday’s Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, Hinchcliffe’s helmet was struck while he and the rest of the field were going down the Hulman Boulevard back stretch.

He was able to turn his car off-course at Turn 7 and after stopping, he was taken away on a stretcher while holding his head. He was then transported to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis but was released later that night.

Hinchcliffe made a brief appearance on Sunday at IMS during the start of Indianapolis 500 practice before heading back to his home in the city for more rest.

For the time being, E.J. Viso is filling in for Hinchcliffe – who took to Twitter today to thank his supporters.

IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama final practice report

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Will Power posted the fastest lap in the third practice session for the Grand Prix of Alabama with a speed of 122.953 mph.

Rookie Robert Wickens (122.552 mph) was second fast, foretelling a continuation of his incredible rookie season.

Scott Dixon (122.237), Ryan Hunter-Reay (122.231) and Alexander Rossi (122.106) rounded out the top five.

The practice was interrupted several times for incidents. 

Ed Jones spun off track in turn five after locking up his brakes with 30 minutes remaining in practice three. He was able to drive back to the pits under his own power.

With 20 minutes still on the clock, Jordan King took a trip into the fence after posting a fastest lap of 121.753 mph. He sustained substantial left side damage to his car and came back to the pits on the hook.

With two minutes remaining, Charlie Kimball lost power and pulled off the track, bringing an end to the practice session.

Dixon also had an off-road excursion.