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Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti suffered a horrifying crash during the Grand Prix of Houston on Sunday leaving the 40-year-old Briton in hospital with concussion, a spinal fracture and a broken ankle.

The Scotsman who is a four-time Indycar Series champion was awake and alert when he was sent to hospital, where he stayed overnight.

IndyCar officials confirmed in a statement that he did not require surgery for the spinal injury.

The accident happened on the final lap of the race when Franchitti’s car clipped another competitor’s vehicle, went airborne and smashed into the catch fence sending debris flying across the track and into the packed out grandstands.

Thirteen spectators were reportedly injured – two of which were sent to hospital for treatment.

The crash comes nearly two years after one of Franchitti’s best friends,fellow Briton Dan Wheldon, died in a 15-car pileup in the season-finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

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