CHAMPCAR/CART: Papis to fill in for Fernandez at Mid-Ohio

Adrian Fernandez today named Massimilano Papis as his replacement in Fernandez Racing's Lola-Honda for this weekend's CART race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Fernandez is recovering from injuries he suffered at CART's previous race in ...

Adrian Fernandez today named Massimilano Papis as his replacement in Fernandez Racing's Lola-Honda for this weekend's CART race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Fernandez is recovering from injuries he suffered at CART's previous race in Vancouver, B.C. Canada. While Fernandez is still experiencing much pain from the injuries - a minor fracture of the hip and a badly bruised right buttock - swelling is greatly reduced and he is hopeful that he can recover enough to return to driving in a week's time at Road America.

"Mad Max" Papis, who has been idle since the Sigma team ceased their CART operations just prior to the Milwaukee round in June, was thrilled at the chance to get back into a CART car. "This is a great opportunity, although being a replacement is not where I want to be. I am not hanging around the paddock waiting for someone to get hurt.

[The Mid-Ohio start] will be a fun thing for me to do. I am a racer with a lot of wins still in my backpack," Papis remarked. Papis made his CART debut in 1996 at the Central Ohio circuit and his best Mid-Ohio finish was 4th in the 2000 race. Papis also mentioned that this would be his first time racing with Honda power since 1994 when he was with Team Lotus in Formula 1.

Fernandez elected to sit out the Mid-Ohio race to remain at home in Arizona and continue working daily with Phoenix-area sports therapist Brett Fisher. When that decision was made, he and team partners Don Halliday and John Anderson agreed that Papis was the best available driver for the substitute role.

When asked about his goals for the weekend, Papis replied: "Realistically, we could walk away from Mid-Ohio with a top-five finish. You can't put a number on your goals, but you just put your head down and do the best you can."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , John Anderson
Teams Team Lotus