CHAMPCAR/CART: Cleveland: Fittipaldi-Dingman Racing race report

Cleveland, OH (Saturday, July 05, 2003) -- After crashing into a tire wall during the Champ Car warm up this morning, FDR driver Tiago Monteiro was sidelined by CART doctors for precautionary measures. After losing the backend of the car,...

Cleveland, OH (Saturday, July 05, 2003) -- After crashing into a tire wall during the Champ Car warm up this morning, FDR driver Tiago Monteiro was sidelined by CART doctors for precautionary measures. After losing the backend of the car, Monteiro hit the tire wall during warm up for tonight's U.S. Bank presents the Cleveland Grand Prix and was taken to the on-site CART medical center before being transferred to nearby Metro Heath Hospital for at CT scan. Monteiro felt fine and his CT scan was clear, but after the young Portuguese driver failed the recently implemented test used by the NFL and the Air Force to measure reaction times after head trauma, the CART doctors felt it best if Tiago missed this race rather than risk the possibility of further injury. While the driver and team were obviously disappointed, the advise of motor sports best medical team simply can't be ignored, so the car was withdrawn from the event.

"It was an eventful weekend," said the young rookie. "Obviously it's really a shame. To not be able to start was painful. The crew put the car back together and we were ready to go, so that makes it harder to accept. The CART doctors know what they're doing, so if they say it's better for my health to sit this one out, then it's better. We were ready to go and in the car, but it's better to miss this one race than to take a chance and possibly miss the rest of the season. Dr. Olvey said that it shouldn't take very long for me to get back; hours maybe, days. If this had happened yesterday, I think there's a 90% chance that I would have been okay for today. We'll do another test on Tuesday or Wednesday, but it shouldn't be a problem. We'll get our revenge in Toronto."

The team will now head back to Indianapolis to finalize preparations before heading to next weekend's Toronto Molson Indy with high expectations. Tiago, Emerson and engineer Don Bricker are confident that they'll have the car necessary to finish in points on the 1.755-mile street circuit. The Molson Indy Toronto at Exposition Place will host the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford July 11th through the 13th, with the race start scheduled for 12:30 p.m. ET on the 13th. The race will air live on CBS Sports. For more information, visit www.molsonindy.com.

-fdr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Tiago Monteiro