Motorsports - British star fractures pelvis in 230mph IndyCar smash

Justin Wilson escaped with his life after a horrific crash in an IndyCar race at the Fontana Oval in California.

The Sheffield-born 35-year-old, a former F1 driver who has raced in the IndyCar series for six seasons, was involved in a multiple-car pile-up during the final race of the season, and was hit side-on by fellow competitor Tristan Vaultier.

Wilson was pulled from the wreckage and airlifted to hospital where he was diagnosed with the inoperable fracture pelvis, as well as bruised lungs. He faces six to eight weeks off his feet before rehab can begin.

The crash - which took place almost two years to the day since Wilson's fellow Brit Dan Wheldon was killed in an IndyCar race - is just the latest of a series of high-profile accidents in recent weeks that have led some to dub it 'Black October'.

Scotland's former IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti broke his spine in a crash two weeks ago, while last Tuesday the world of motorsport was in mourning for Sean Edwards, the Porsche Supercup championship leader, who was killed during a testing session in Australia.

Wilson remained matter of fact about the accident, putting it down to a seam in the track's tarmac which unbalanced his car.

"It just wiggled," he said. "I tried to catch it but it just came around.

"I was not where I needed to be on the angle of the exit and if you get that wrong then the aerodynamics and the track seams can really get you and they certainly did."

Wilson seems to be shrugging off the accident already, despite it being his second major smash in three season; the first, in 2011 left him with a broken back.

"Justin is in good spirits," team owner Dale Coyne said. "Knowing Justin, he will be back on his mountain bike before you know it."

His racing driver brother Stefan later tweeted that Justin was back on his feet already:

" Upgraded from walker to crutches, and complaining of hospital food… he's recovering fast!"