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Da Matta in Critical Condition
Cristiano da Matta suffered severe head injuries Thursday after striking a deer during Champ Car testing at Elkhart Lake, Wis. The 32-year-old Brazilian was airlifted to Theda Clark Medical Center hospital where he underwent surgery Thursday night. His condition was critical. “After arriving at Theda Clark Medical Center, a head CT scan showed Cristiano had suffered a subdural hematoma," stated Dr. Chris Pinderski, Champ Car Director of Medical Affairs. "He was urgently taken to the operating room for surgical removal of the hematoma and is now being observed in the intensive care unit.” The next 24 hours will be crucial for the 2002 CART champion as doctors try to reduce the swelling in his brain. According to an eyewitness, da Matta was heading for Turn 6 at Road America when the deer ran out in front of him and struck the right front of his RuSPORT Lola. The deer caromed into the cockpit as da Matta smashed into the tire barrier with his foot still planted on the throttle. Safety crews extracted him on a backboard and applied an oxygen mask as he was taken to a helicopter. In the wake of the crash, RuSPORT announced that Justin Wilson and the #9 team will not participate in the final day of Champ Car testing at Road America. da Matta was coming off his first podium of the season, a second place last Sunday at San Jose.
- Speed Channel
There's not much to say really. It's a freak accident that wouldn't have happened if they had a safety fence all the way around, but as my friend said to me, that's a major expense. It needs to done anyway, not only to keep cars and debris in, but other things (like deer) out. If anyone can find any pictures of the car, I would like to see them, but since it was a test, there probably are none, and any that do exist wouldn't be released.