A spectacular and frightening accident involving Tony Kanaan running into the back and over the top of Helio Castroneves dominated the Sunday morning warm-up final practice session.

Kanaan had arrived at the corner at high speed suffering with brake failure, and came up fast on the back of Castroneves who was having problems of his own getting into the corner.

Unable to stop, Kanaan tried to avoid Castroneves but there was no room and instead made contact with the rear and right hand side of the Penske, and was launched over the top of the #3 and into the air for a significant distance, finally landing and clipping the outside concrete wall before going into - and through - the tyre barrier and run-off area ahead.

A shocked Helio was quickly out of his car to race over to the #82 to check Kanaan was okay. Astonishingly neither driver was injured, but both cars were badly damaged and both drivers face starting from the back if they have to take to a back-up car.

"That was frightening," said Kanaan. "Arriving at 190 mph with no brakes is no fun," he said, angry at the one unforgivable issue in motor racing: "A brake failure in a race car is just something that should not happen."

He pointed out that if Helio hadn't been there to take the initial hit and slow the #82 down into the turn, the accident could have proved to be far more serious and potentially even fatal. "He saved my life today," summarised Kanaan.

"He really flew," said Helio, commenting that he'd had a full view of the undertray of the KV Racing Technology car as it passed overhead. "I was very worried. He landed in a very bad position.

"When I looked he didn't move it all so I ran over to make sure he was okay. It was a very scary accident, but I'm glad he's okay," he added, saying that regardless of the damage to the cars he was happy to have been there to soften Kanaan's final crash before it had got really bad.

After the session resumed, the green flag lasted only a couple of minutes before Ana Beatriz and JR Hildebrand got together in turn 1 and caught up James Jakes who was next to arrive on the scene, blocking the track and forcing another full course caution.

There was no time to clear the track before the end of the warm-up session, and the chequered flags came out early to bring proceedings to a close.

In a completely unrepresentative final session timesheet, Simona de Silvestro came top ahead of Danica Patrick, with Kanaan still showing in third place from before his accident.

Before the warm-up session, the race organisers had altered the exit of turn 8 on the 2-mile, 12-turn temporary street course circuit to address a safety hazard identified during practice and qualifying sessions. The inside wall from the apex to the exit of the corner was moved out four feet to modify the line through the turn and widen pit lane exit.

Full Sunday warm-up times available.


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