IRL: Motegi: Tomas Enge to miss race

Tomas Enge Will Miss Bridgestone Indy Japan 300 MOTEGI, Japan -- Panther Racing driver Tomas Enge was not cleared to drive following further investigation of his chest x-ray late Friday afternoon. Enge had sustained two broken ribs earlier in...

Tomas Enge Will Miss Bridgestone Indy Japan 300

MOTEGI, Japan -- Panther Racing driver Tomas Enge was not cleared to drive following further investigation of his chest x-ray late Friday afternoon. Enge had sustained two broken ribs earlier in the week and suffered an additional break on Friday afternoon during an accident in qualifications.

"This is very unfortunate for our team," Enge said. "If it was up to me, I would drive my car for the guys, but the IRL medical staff is one of the best in the world and I trust their decision. Right now my focus is on the Indianapolis 500, and I want to do nothing to jeopardize a chance to compete in the greatest race in the world. Right now both myself and everybody on our RockStar team are going to support the Pennzoil guys and hope (Tomas) Scheckter wins the race today."

Enge's RockStar Chevrolet spun between Turns Three and Four of Twin Ring Motegi's 1.5-mile oval and made hard contact with the outside retaining wall in Turn Four. He was flown by helicopter to Dokkyo University Hospital for x-rays following the accident.

"X-rays revealed a new lateral seventh rib fracture," IRL Doctor Geoffrey L. Billows said. "The new fracture is oblique with sharp, displaced ends and it is my feeling that this injury presents a significant risk of worsening and other complications in the event of another crash. In the interest of Tomas' health and safety it is my recommendation that he does not drive this weekend."

Tomas will be re-examined when he returns to Indianapolis on Monday to determine his status for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's Rookie Orientation Program, which starts Monday, May 9th.

-www.pantherracing.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Enge
Teams Panther Racing