CHAMPCAR/CART: Champ Car's 2004 Medical Team

Sports Medicine, Physical Therapy Team begins 20th Year as Key Members of Champ Car Medical Team. INDIANAPOLIS (February 27, 2004) -- When followers of motorsport discuss safety teams in racing, most of the glory goes to the quick-response ...

Sports Medicine, Physical Therapy Team begins 20th Year as Key Members of Champ Car Medical Team.

INDIANAPOLIS (February 27, 2004) -- When followers of motorsport discuss safety teams in racing, most of the glory goes to the quick-response paramedic types that dash into the aftermath of an accident and rescue those in peril, or to the emergency physicians that can save an injured competitor.

Those are obviously key parts of any racing series and those professionals that serve on the Champ Car Safety Team are widely regarded as some of the best in the business. It is those professionals that played a key part in Champ Car's stellar medical record last year, helping to fashion the best record of any racing series in North America in terms of injuries and races missed.

However, those sports medicine and physical therapy professionals that serve on the Champ Car Safety Team are every bit as vital to the success of the series. In fact, the sports medicine and physical therapy arm of the team contributed mightily to the fact that Tiago Monteiro's pre-race accident that caused him to miss the Cleveland Grand Prix was the only incident all year in which a Champ Car driver had to miss a start because of injury.

"I think these guys are a critical part of the care we give at the race track" said Champ Car Medical Director Dr. Chris Pinderski. "Our primary goal is to keep the drivers in the race cars and the sports med and therapy guys play a key role in that."

Don Andrews and the Motor Sports Medicine Group that begin their 20th year as members of the Champ Car Safety Team are responsible for helping minor injuries remain minor, using immediate care, resources and training to ensure that drivers are ready when the green flag flies.

"We can do much in the first hour after an incident to keep them able to compete at the level you need to in our series," Andrews said. "With our staff at the track, we are able to provide the same type of medical care that NFL and NBA teams have. We've developed protocol and procedures to help our athletes -- and they are athletes -- recover quicker and be able to continue racing."

The sports medicine and physical therapy arm started with the safety team in 1985, with Andrews coming from the NHL's New York Islanders. Other members of the current staff have served with NFL and NHL squads and have incorporated experiences from other sports that help them treat Champ Car drivers.

"We adapt a lot of what we learned in other sports to racing, but we have made modifications to help our guys," Andrews said. "For instance you can't tape a driver's wrist the same way that you would for an offensive lineman. These are the kinds of things that we have changed and improved upon to help the drivers."

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Series Automotive , IndyCar
Drivers Tiago Monteiro