Giaffone injured in crash at Kansas Indy 300; Takagi retires early with fuel pressure problem. KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Sunday, July 6, 2003) -- Felipe Giaffone, driver of the ...
Giaffone injured in crash at Kansas Indy 300; Takagi retires early with fuel pressure problem.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Sunday, July 6, 2003) -- Felipe Giaffone, driver of the #21 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Toyota-powered Panoz G Force, suffered a fractured right femur and fractured pelvis in an early race accident at today's Kansas Indy 300 IRL IndyCar Series event on the Kansas Speedway 1.5-mile oval. His teammate, Tora Takagi, had to park his #12 Pioneer/Mo Nunn Racing Toyota-powered Panoz G Force just before the race's midpoint with terminal fuel pressure problems.
On Lap 55 of today's 200-lap event, the right front of Giaffone's Hollywood car made contact with the left rear of Dan Wheldon's car in Turn 2 and the two crashed heavily into the outside retaining wall. Wheldon walked away from the incident but Giaffone had to be extracted from his car and was flown to Kansas University Medical Center in Kansas City for x-rays, which revealed the broken femur and pelvis. After further tests at KU Medical Center, Giaffone is expected to be transported to Indianapolis to continue treatment under the direction of Dr. Terry Trammel. It is uncertain when Giaffone will be able to return to action. Giaffone started fifth today and was running sixth at the time of the accident.
Meanwhile, Takagi , who started third, battled understeer problems before and after the first round of pit stops under yellow on Lap 39. He fell back to 10th by that time but picked up a spot with a quick stop. Takagi fell back to 11th on the Lap 42 restart, worked his way back to eighth by Lap 64, but then was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop on Lap 76 to deal with the fuel pressure problem. He resumed a lap down in 15th but finally had to bring the car into the pits for good when the Pioneer car lost fuel pressure on Lap 92. It was Takagi's first DNF since he crashed during the opening laps at Phoenix six races ago while trying to avoid a spinning car.
The series takes a weekend off before resuming with its final Saturday-night race of 2003 on July 19 at Nashville Superspeedway.
"It is disappointing to not be able to finish this race. I like this type of track the best. I was having understeer problems and we could not completely fix the problem. Then we began having problems with the fuel pressure and finally we lost it completely. I was very concerned for my teammate Felipe (Giaffone) because the accident looked pretty bad. But he will be okay after his injuries heal. Unfortunately it will take much time."
"Obviously, it was a very disappointing turn of events for us. We are not exactly sure what happened. I never got a good look at Felipe's accident on the TV screen. Unfortunately, Felipe is in a lot of pain right now and my guess is that his recovery time will be quite lengthy. All our thoughts are with him and his wife Alice, and we certainly hope for a speedy recovery. I'm not exactly sure what is going to happen next with the Hollywood car from here. Certainly, we will get everyone together upon our return to Indy and discuss the situation."