CHAMPCAR/CART: Update on injuries to Alex Zanardi

AS of: Sat, 15 Sep 2001 17:08:07 EDT: LAUSITZ, Germany (September 15, 2001) - Two-time CART racing champion Alex Zanardi, 34, of Bologna, Italy, was in critical condition at Berlin's Klinikum Berlin-Marzahn hospital Saturday as a result of ...

AS of: Sat, 15 Sep 2001 17:08:07 EDT:

LAUSITZ, Germany (September 15, 2001) - Two-time CART racing champion Alex Zanardi, 34, of Bologna, Italy, was in critical condition at Berlin's Klinikum Berlin-Marzahn hospital Saturday as a result of injuries sustained in a late-race accident during The American Memorial CART event at Lausitz, Germany.

According to Dr. Steve Olvey, CART Director of Medical Affairs, Zanardi was airlifted to Klinikum Berlin-Marzahn hospital following a two-car accident with Alex Tagliani, which occurred as Zanardi exited the pit lane following his final fuel stop on the 142nd of 154 laps. He underwent a three-hour procedure that resulted in the traumatic amputation of both legs above the knee.

A CT scan of Zanardi's head was normal. He sustained a moderately severe concussion and was beginning to show signs of purposeful movement before going into surgery at about 6 p.m. local time. He also sustained several small fractures of the pelvis that did not require surgery. As of late Saturday night, Zanardi was in critical but stable condition in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital, where he is expected to remain for the next several days.

Tagliani was awake and alert at Klinikum Berlin-Marzahn, where a CT scan and X-rays revealed no injuries. He was expected to remain under observation at the hospital for the next 24 to 48 hours.

Zanardi had returned to Champ Car competition for Mo Nunn Racing this season following a two-year absence. His three-year career spanning 1996-98 was one of the most spectacular in CART history, including back-to-back championships in 1997 and '98.

Zanardi earned 15 victories and 10 pole positions in 66 CART starts, and was the 1996 Rookie of the Year prior to earning his back-to-back championships. He joined Rick Mears (1981-82) and Bobby Rahal (1986-87) as the only drivers ever to win back-to-back driving titles in CART's 22-year history.

Zanardi holds CART records for podium finishes in a season (15 in 1998), consecutive pole positions (6, 1996-97) and most consecutive front-row starts (10, 1996-97). He shares the CART record for consecutive victories (4 in 1998) with Al Unser Jr.

-CART-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Bobby Rahal , Alex Tagliani , Alex Zanardi , Rick Mears , Mo Nunn