IndyCar driver Will Power got the ultimate open-cockpit racing scare tonight at Gateway Motorsports Park: a view of the underside of Ed Carpenter’s car.
Power lost control of his car right after the start of the race, with Takuma Sato and Ed Carpenter spinning out behind him. Power’s car then acted as a ramp to launch Carpenter in the air when it collected Carpenter, leading to the frightening IndyCars-playing-leap-frog moment.
Fortunately, IndyCar confirmed that Carpenter and Power had been checked out by the infield care center and released, and were fine.
This early crash was after an extremely unusual start to the race. IndyCar driver Tony Kanaan spun out on the pace lap before the green flag dropped and crashed into Turn 2, causing a delayed start.
Tony! You had one job! Get to the starting line, and then go for it. Not a second earlier.
Both Kanaan and Power are among the series’ most experienced drivers, so it’s peculiar to see them out so early in what appeared to be single-car mistakes.
Luckily for fans of Sébastien Bourdais’ early return, the man in his first race back after being injured in a brutal Indianapolis 500 qualifying crash already briefly led the race tonight. Bourdais just spent three months out of racing in order to recover.
[Correction: An earlier version of this accidentally swapped Carpenter and Power’s names. This has since been fixed.]