Friday, August 04, 2006

Please keep Cristiano in your prayers

UPDATE: Da Matta In Critical Condition
Written by: Robin Miller

Elkhart Lake, Wis. – 8/3/2006 Da Matta (that's him in the yellow firesuit on the left) clinched his first podium finish of '06 last weekend at San Jose. (LAT Photo)

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 No. 9 team will not participate in the final day of Champ Car testing at Road America.

Known as "Shorty," the good-natured veteran was coming off his first podium of the season, a second place last Sunday at San Jose.

I know most of you don't follow racing, except when I bore the crap out of you with accounts of my racing weekends, but please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. He's a good guy and I was so happy for him to get the chance he got to drive for RuSport and for his podium this past Sunday.


At Friday, 04 August, 2006, Blogger Scott said...

Race car drivers live fast and, well, you know the rest. I hope he gets better.

At Friday, 04 August, 2006, Blogger trinamick said...

That's scary stuff. Deer don't even stay off racetracks? In the words of Charlie Brown, good grief.

At Friday, 04 August, 2006, Blogger Kathleen said...

Scott - Yes, but it's not the 1960s anymore and our safety records are pretty good. Damn deer.

Trina - You'd think the sound of an accelerating turbocharged engine would have scared it off.

At Monday, 07 August, 2006, Blogger GoingLoopy said...

I do hope he ends up Ok. And please send me the p-word to the secret files. :)

At Tuesday, 08 August, 2006, Blogger Heather said...

I hope he's going to be okay. That's so scary...

At Tuesday, 08 August, 2006, Blogger Beth said...

I do hate racing, but I hate accidents even worse.


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