Four-time Champ Car champion and ex-Formula One driver Sebastien Bourdais suffered a fractured pelvis and hip in a frightening crash during qualifying for the Indy 500, in which he lost control and hit the outside wall at over 230mph before flipping over and catching fire.

Bourdais was lucky to escape without life-threatening injuries in the accident, which happened on the third of his four qualifying laps as he negotiated turn two. The Frenchman was extracted from his Dale Coyne Raching cockpit and transported to hospital where he underwent surgery on Saturday night.Bourdais is one of the most successful ever drivers in American racing, having won four Champ Car series titles between 2004 and 2007, before switching to Formula One in 2008 for a two-year stint with Toro Rosso. The 38-year-old has also been a regular at the Le Mans 24 Hours, having first competed in the French race in 1999, and he has a best overall finish of second three times in 2007, 2009 and 201.