SEBRING, Fla. — It has been a long road to recovery for IZOD IndyCar Series driver Mike Conway, who suffered serious injuries in a crash at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the Indianapolis 500 last season.
But the British racer was finally back behind the wheel of an Indy car Wednesday, taking to Sebring Int’l Raceway in his new Andretti Autosport ride, setting the fastest lap of the day. Wednesday’s test at Sebring saw the Andretti Autosport driver complete more than 60 laps at the circuit.
“It sounds so clichéd but it really is so fantastic to be back,” Conway said. “It’s been a long journey returning to full fitness following the accident and it feels great to be back testing and preparing for the season. We made some good progress at today’s test, gradually chipping away at the lap times and it will be good to continue to build on this at the next test in Barber on Monday.”
Conway sustained multiple fractures to his lower left leg and a compression fracture to his T3 vertebrae during the late-race accident at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last season and has since undergone nine months of intensive rehab.
Conway’s return to the race car comes a little more than two weeks before the start of the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series, with the first race on March 27 in St. Petersburg, Fla.
“The first race of the season is at the end of the month in St. Petersburg and I’m looking forward to lining up my Andretti Autosport car on the grid,” Conway said. “I want to thank everyone who has supported me over the past nine months. I’ve had some fantastic people working with me and I really appreciate all the work they’ve put in.
“It’s a real honor to be racing for the Andretti Autosport team this year and I’m confident that together we will be able to secure some great results,” Conway added.