The #66 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard will not compete in this weekend's inaugural Rockingham 500 CART FedEx Championship Series event in the wake of serious injuries suffered by two-time champion Alex Zanardi in the closing laps of last weekend's German 500.
Zanardi, who lost both of his legs as the result of a horrific crash in the latter stages of Saturday's race in Germany, remained in critical but stable condition at Marzahn Hospital in Berlin. Doctors late Tuesday began the lengthy process of bringing Zanardi out of a medicated coma. He is expected to remain in the hospital's intensive care unit for the next week to 15 days.
Those wishing to send messages to Zanardi may do so by way of a special bulletin board created on the Mo Nunn Racing site on the World Wide Web (www.monunnracing.com), or by mail, care of Mo Nunn Racing, 2920 Fortune Circle West, Indianapolis, IN 46241. Zanardi's family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the World Association to Aid Children (Association Mondial pur l'Aid des Enfants), Star Team for Children, 20 Avenue de Fontvieille, MC 98000, Monaco.
Mo Nunn Racing will compete at the Rockingham 500 this weekend with driver Tony Kanaan in the #55 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard, as scheduled. The #66 Pioneer-WorldCom entry is expected to return to action at Houston (Oct. 4-6) with a driver to be determined.
MORRIS NUNN, TEAM OWNER
"All our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Alex as he continues on his road to recovery. The doctors say he is progressing about as well as can be humanly expected and that is about the best news we can hope for at this stage. We're not going run the 66 car this weekend. Alex's wife, Daniela, would very much like the show to go on with the Pioneer-WorldCom team this weekend at Rockingham. Especially since both Alex and Tony were running so well in Germany until the accident happened - she feels there is unfinished business to tend to at Rockingham. However, some of the guys on the Pioneer-WorldCom team are understandably so devastated by what happened that we believe it would be difficult to fully concentrate on the task at hand. And that could pose a safety risk as we compete on another oval track this weekend. We've consulted with our sponsors, and they concur with this decision. Last week's tragic events back home in the States were tremendously unsettling, as it was. And the accident Saturday was just a terrible thing to endure for all of us. The best thing to do is to send the 66 team home early, let them take the proper time to get themselves together, and to come back strong at Houston. Meanwhile, I'm sure everyone on the Hollywood side, including Tony, is highly motivated to go out and win this one for Alex."