Reports emerged during Sunday’s Verizon IndyCar Series’ season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg that a fan was struck by debris during the race.
The race organizers have confirmed the news with a statement released to MotorSportsTalk on Tuesday:
On Sunday, March 29, a spectator was injured during the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. She was treated on scene and transported to Bayfront Medical Center for further treatment where she was admitted and remains in stable condition. We wish her well and a speedy recovery.
A further statement from INDYCAR reads as follows:
The safety of INDYCAR’s fans and participants is of the highest priority. The series is investigating an incident where a spectator was injured at St. Petersburg on March 29. This process is consistent with INDYCAR’s procedure following all race incidents and part of its persistent effort to make safety improvements. INDYCAR wishes the spectator well and hopes for a speedy recovery.
Per the Tampa Bay Times, the woman injured, Brigitte Hoffstetter, was walking behind the grandstands at Turn 10 when some of the debris was hit on track and flew over the wall. IndyCar officials were working to see if they could help, the report said.
St. Petersburg Fire Rescue deputy fire marshal Lt. Steven Lawrence confirmed to USA Today Sports the debris struck the fan in the head.
A fan photo captured of the debris aftermath and posted it to NBCSN IndyCar insider Robin Miller’s Facebook page.
Here’s a screen capture of the hit posted to Twitter:
On a separate medical note, there has not yet been a further medical update on Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires driver Michael Johnson since his accident last Friday.