Alex Zanardi

JuliusPleaser

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#1
Some of you may be familiar with a CART/Indycar driver named Alex Zanardi. He was the CART champion here in the US in '97 and '98, and returned to race here this year.

At the inaugural race Saturday at the Lausitzring in Germany, Alex spun leaving the pit road and was speared into by another car driven by Alex Tagliani.

Tagliani was traveling at an estimated 180 mph and never had a chance to hit the brakes. He hit Zanardi's car directly in the cockpit, and the resulting crash was horrendous.

Tagliani survived with minor injuries, but Zanardi ultimately lost both legs. CART had dedicated the race to the heroes and victims of the WTC attack, and had renamed the race "The American Memorial".

Zanardi is one of the nicest guys anyone could ever hope to meet. His driving style is on par with Ricy Carmichael's--a little out of control, but very, very fast.

He's in an induced coma as of now, but he will survive. Please spare a thought for him and for the entire CART family.
 

Offroadr

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#2
That was a nasty crash!

I seriously doubt if anything could of saved his legs with an impact like that.
The design of those cars really puts the driver's body in danger.

Hopefully he will have a full recovery.

If Reggie Showers can race a Pro Stock Bike as a double amputee anything is possible!
 
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#3
The design of those cars really puts the driver's body in danger
Being that the driver is in the front of the car I would agree, however, consider that the driver that hit him was not injured!

Sad day in Cart :(
 

JuliusPleaser

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#4
A sad end to a sad week...

The German broadcasters zoomed in on Zanardi's car as it came to rest, and (according to some German viewers) his left foot was already gone. His right leg was obviously severely damaged. The CART safety team's prompt action undoubtedly saved Alex's life. He could easily have bled to death.

Doctors attempted to re-attach his legs, but there was too much damage. Even so, Zanardi will bounce back from this. I wouldn't be surprised to see him race again--somewhere, somehow.

I'm sure that parts of the crash will be edited, but anyone who's interested can catch the race at 1 pm Eastern/12 Noon Central today on ESPN.
 

Hucker

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#5
On a similar note, there's a woman who races a Ferrari in the Motorola Cup GT series that has no use of her legs. Everything is hand controlled, so don't doubt that you'll see him back in a race car.

Good Luck Alex!
 
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#6
Anyone interested in sending good will wishes to Zanardi, his wife Daniella, and 1 year old son Niccola can check out www.seventhgear.com.

My prayers are with the Zanardi family, this could have been a much greater tragedy, thankfully we are talking about recovery, and not remembrance.

Get well soon Alex.

Regarding car design, these cars are among the safest in the world, as anyone who saw Memo Gidley's accident a couple weeks ago can attest.

The carbon fiber tub of a CART car is basically a capsule around the driver, with all exterior parts designed to break away and absorb the impacts, tranferring less of it to the driver. In Zanardi's case however, the speed differential was so great, I doubt any design could have saved his legs.

Super-rigid chassis such as stock cars tranfer much more crash energy to a driver, even in low speed impacts . Tagliani hit Zanardi doing 192 mph, with Zanardi almost completely stopped. Were the car not designed to absorb energy and break apart, the results would have been even more devastating.

Sorry for the long winded post, but where car design and safety are concerned, there are huge misconceptions about what makes a race car safe for a driver.

A tragic week to say the least.


:(

P.S. Thanks for the post J.P.
 

XRpredator

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#7
I saw that crash--incredible.

Goes to show you how far along the safety gear has come. I can hardly believe that either of those guys is even alive after that.
 
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#8
That was really terrible, I feel very badly for Alex. I hpoe he is able to recover as well as possible and resume a full, happy life.