CHAMPCAR/CART: Da Matta injured in a collision with a deer

RuSPORT driver Cristiano da Matta was involved in an incident with a deer today at the Road America circuit, nestled in the countryside near Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

Cristiano da Matta.
Photo by Kurt Dahlstrom.
The 2002 Champ Car (CART) champion was participating in an Open Test for the series on the 4.048 mile road course when the deer came out onto the racing surface in the third practice session and collided with the right side of the open wheel car before landing near the cockpit area.

According to the RuSPORT team release, "Da Matta collided with a deer that wandered onto the track, at approximately 3:08 pm CDT today."

The Brazilian, who had turned the third quickest time prior to the incident, joined the team at the Portland International Raceway event in mid-June. Last Sunday, he has his best finish with his new team with a second place finish at San Jose.

According to early reports, the Champ Car Safety Team placed him on a backboard when they removed the unconscious da Matta from the car. He was immediately airlifted to a nearby hospital and at this time, Da Matta's condition is unknown.

Medical update:

Da Matta underwent immediate surgery at Theda Clark Medical Center.

Statement From Dr. Chris Pinderski, Champ Car Director of Medical Affairs:
"After arriving at Theda Clark Medical Center, a head CT scan showed Cristiano had suffered a subdural hematoma. He was urgently taken to the operating room for surgical removal of the hematoma and is now being observed in the intensive care unit."

In other news from the team, they have withdrawn from tomorrow's second day of testing.