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Zanardi loses both legs in crash

09-15-2001, 02:18 PM
Quoted directly from CNN/Sports Illustrated (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/motorsports/news/2001/09/15/zanardi_crash_ap/):

KLETTWITZ, Germany (AP) -- Two-time CART champion Alex Zanardi lost both of his legs after his car was hit by another traveling about 200 mph Saturday during the American Memorial 500.

CART officials described the 34-year-old Italian's condition as 'stable' and said he lost one leg above the knee and one below. He was airlifted to a Berlin hospital for surgery.

CART's first race in Europe was originally called the German 500 but was renamed to honor the terrorist victims in the United States. CART is one of the few major U.S.-based sports competing this weekend. The NFL and major league baseball called off all games, the PGA Tour put off its tournaments, and NASCAR postponed its Winston Cup New Hampshire 300 race.

Zanardi was leading with 12 laps to go Saturday when his car left pit road. As he pulled out, he appeared to accelerate too early and lose control as his car swerved across a grassy area.

The car moved into the path of Alex Tagliani's car, scattering debris across the asphalt track before a crowd of 87,600 at the EuroSpeedway.

Tagliani, a Canadian, was "awake and alert," and X-rays showed no serious injuries, CART said. He was being treated at the same hospital and was expected to stay 24-to-48 hours.

Patrick Carpentier, who finished third in the race, managed to avoid Zanardi as the Zanardi's car entered the track. Tagliani was the next car through.

"I almost hit Zanardi," Carpentier said. "He came up the track and I went sideways and almost hit the wall to avoid him. I didn't know that Tag had hit him. I knew somebody was going to hit him because he was going up the track and we were at full speed."

Zanardi, who was seeking his first victory this season, is one of CART's most high-profile drivers.

Zanardi failed in his first try at Formula One, racing for under-financed teams, and was a surprise pick to drive for Chip Ganassi in 1996 in CART.

He was an immediate star in the Champ car series, winning rookie of the year honors, and then winning championships in 1997 and 1998 -- one of only three back-to-back series champions ever.

He then left CART for another try at Formula One, but did not fare well with the Williams team and retired from racing.

Zanardi sat out the 2000 season but was lured back to CART by Morris Nunn, his former engineer at Ganassi and now a team owner.

He holds the modern CART record for points in a season, with 285 in 1998. He also holds the CART record for most consecutive poles (six), front row starts (11) and top-three finishes in a season (15).

Kenny Brack of Sweden won Saturday's race under a yellow flag. Max Papis of Italy was second and Patrick Carpentier third. It was Brack's fourth victory of the season and moved him into the season's lead in the drivers' standings.

Brack has 131 points with five races remaining. Defending champion Gil de Ferran had 120 and Michael Andretti has 115. De Ferran finished eighth and Andretti fourth.

"I pray for my friend Alessandro [Zanardi] that he is going to be OK," Papis said.


This has not been a good week. :(

09-15-2001, 07:22 PM
that's real unfortunate. i couldnt imagine what i'd do w/o my legs.

09-15-2001, 10:25 PM
neither can I:( His career really depended on it though, what will he do now?

09-15-2001, 11:08 PM
I was watching that race today!!!!! I switched off to go try and get a part time job, and in a way I'm glad. I think he was near the lead when I was watching.

I sincerely hope he can work through this, and gain a semi-normal life.

This has been a very bad week. :(

Morpheus XIII
09-15-2001, 11:55 PM
Good God, what's the world coming to? So this was CART's first race in Europe? What a horrible way to start out. Such a small mistake ended in such a huge disaster. Best wishes for Zanardi.

09-16-2001, 03:04 AM
I have always been, and still am a big Alex Zanardi supporter, and the news just devastated me... And he was leading the race... No words. Just glad he's alive. See avatar for my thoughts on the current week :(

primera man
09-16-2001, 03:18 AM
Originally posted by ales
See avatar for my thoughts on the current week :(

Nice touch Alex.

Yeah it was a shock when i heard it on the radio this morning.

09-16-2001, 08:05 AM
I feel kinda bad, though. With the WTN, what do two legs matter, right??? But they do, and it makes you feel guilty.

It is best summed up by: Man better understands the death of one as he does a million.:(

Mclaren F1
09-17-2001, 01:08 AM
man poor guy.....lose your legs and it's OVER, but i wonder if he could race with prostehis legs.......nah doubt it:(

Morpheus XIII
09-17-2001, 06:06 AM
After my previous posting, I saw the crash on the local news. Such a shame how such a small mistake while leaving the pits can lead to such disaster. Zanardi's Champ car COMPLETELY shattered on impact. Before seeing the incident, I was only disheartened, but afterwards I felt more thankful--that he didn't die.

09-20-2001, 01:14 PM
I can't find a source to confirm it, but I heard that both legs were amputated above the knee. IIRC, that will mean any prosthetics will be less functional than if he had lost his legs below the knee. :(

primera man
09-20-2001, 01:17 PM
I see he is out of his coma now too.

09-20-2001, 01:43 PM
I heard about that incident. Very tragic that he may never race again. Or maybe he might.

09-20-2001, 02:19 PM
Where can i see the crash?? I havent seen it yet.

09-20-2001, 02:21 PM
HOLY S***!!!@$%@
I just saw the picture in here, that is a horrible crash! His legs must have been ripped off, not very good.

09-20-2001, 02:23 PM
HOLY S***!!
I just saw the picture of the crash in this thread, that is not good. His legs must have been ripped off, not very pleasant.


Mclaren F1
09-20-2001, 06:03 PM
after he crashed he was air lifted to a hospital where the amputated his shattered legs:(

09-20-2001, 06:21 PM
I think it would be good if he did race with Prothesis, it would probably be a first. Besides if you're just giving gas and brake (Clutch) You could get them specially built for race use. I'm sure he's got the money to do it.

09-21-2001, 10:24 PM
Originally posted by Porsche
I think it would be good if he did race with Prothesis, it would probably be a first. Besides if you're just giving gas and brake (Clutch) You could get them specially built for race use. I'm sure he's got the money to do it.

If he raced with a prothesis, he may be the first in the modern area. There are others who race with hand controls, however, not at the top levels, and much as I would wish it to be so, Alex will never compete at the top level again.

Clay Reggazoni has a racing school for those either with no legs or are parapalegics. There is a parapalegic racing a Ferarri in Speedvision GT racings currently.

09-22-2001, 02:17 AM
ya i saw that Ferrari 355. a chick drives it and there are so many controls in there!

09-23-2001, 09:57 AM
Zanardi will most likely never race at the top level. I hope he continues in some other arena of motorsport, it would be nice. Like that guy who rode bikes, he lost the use of his legs. He now races in 100hp go karts (essentially) with hand controls.

primera man
09-25-2001, 05:37 PM
This is a site where you can send get well messages to him.


09-26-2001, 11:11 AM
Sent mine. What else can you do:(

11-11-2001, 01:15 PM
Poor Zanardi :(
:( :o

primera man
11-12-2001, 02:20 AM
I see he was on the news a week ago and has made a good recoverey from his opps.

He is hoping to race again he said.
I hope he does

11-12-2001, 11:41 AM
I really hope he races again, that would be great

12-06-2001, 03:18 PM
how horribly unfortunate

12-08-2001, 11:16 PM
god i feel so bad for zanardi man bad crash he cant walk and he was a great driver.

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