British IndyCar driver Justin Wilson remains in coma after wreck

English racing driver Justin Wilson of the CDW- RusPort Racing team in the pits during the first qualifying session for the Champ Car World Series GP in Mexico City in a 2007 file photo.
English racing driver Justin Wilson of the CDW- RusPort Racing team in the pits during the first qualifying session for the Champ Car World Series GP in Mexico City in a 2007 file photo. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (Reuters) - British IndyCar driver Justin Wilson remained in a coma on Monday after suffering a severe head injury during a wreck in the closing laps of a race on Sunday at Pocono Raceway in Long, Pond, Pennsylvania, IndyCar officials said.

Wilson, a former Formula One driver and seven-time winner in IndyCar racing, was in critical condition at a hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania, according to an IndyCar statement.

"IndyCar continues to send its thoughts and prayers to the family and thanks the entire motorsports community for the outpouring of support," the statement read.

The car driven by the 37-year-old Wilson careened out of control and into a wall after being hit by a large piece of debris from the car of Sage Karam.

Karam, 20, was leading the race when his car spun out on lap 179 of the 200-lap race and smacked the outside wall, sending pieces of the car airborne. He was taken to the same hospital as Wilson with heel and wrist injuries but was released on Sunday night.

Karam will be re-evaluated before being cleared to drive, IndyCar officials said.

"First and foremost, I just hope everything is OK with Justin Wilson," Karam said in a statement on Monday. "Justin is the priority and everything else is secondary at this point." Karam said he "had a really great race car and I felt comfortable and in a position to be in striking distance for the win."

"The car just unfortunately came around on me in the middle of Turn 1 and I had no indication it was about to go," he said.

Wilson is from Sheffield, England, and lives in Longmont, Colorado.