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.
Gabby Chaves is set to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International later this month.
The Columbian-American driver, who last competed in IMSA in 2016 – with the DeltaWing outfit – will sub for the injured Joao Barbosa – he hurt his wrist in a cycling accident earlier in June – in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.
Chaves will partner Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Cadillac.
Chaves expressed gratitude for being asked to fill in, but kept his enthusiasm muted, noting that he is getting the opportunity ultimately because another driver got hurt.
“The first thing is of course that you never want to have an opportunity because someone got hurt, so this is an unfortunate circumstance with Joao having his injury,”said Chaves. “But I appreciate the opportunity to join the championship-leading team. Mustang Sampling Racing has had a strong start this year and hopefully I can help the team continue to have those kinds of results.”
Chaves added, “I love Watkins Glen, it is a great track and I am looking forward to racing the Cadillac Prototype there. I’m excited to be going back to endurance racing. With different classes all racing at the same time, there is a lot for the driver to deal with as you work through traffic. So I am looking forward to racing at the Glen again, and I really appreciate this opportunity with Mustang Sampling Racing.”
Chaves’ most recent IMSA event was the 2016 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when he finished seventh in the Prototype class.
The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac currently sits tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen Engineer Racing Cadillac of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr atop the IMSA standings, though Barbosa’s hopes of a driver’s championship are set to take an enormous hit with him missing Watkins Glen.