Chip Ganassi driver Charlie Kimball suffered a broken finger on his right hand during an accident while testing his IndyCar at Mid-Ohio last Thursday. It was decided that Giorgio Pantano will replace Kimball for this Sunday’s IndyCar race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, outside Lexington.
Kimball received treatment nearby at Mansfield Hospital in Mansfield, Ohio, after the crash but IndyCar’s medical director, Dr. Michael Olinger said Kimball would see a specialist on Friday in Indianapolis. It was then concluded that although the injury isn’t considered severe, it needed more time to heal before Kimball could drive again.
Said Kimball: “I’m very disappointed to miss out on the Mid-Ohio race weekend. We had such a good race there last year and I was really looking forward to another shot at the podium. However, I trust the medical professionals at INDYCAR, and we’re making sure I’m back to 100 percent for Sonoma.” (Source – SpeedTV)
Pantano is a 33 year old Italian who has some experience in American open wheel. He subbed a couple times for the Ganassi team several years ago and also was a late season replacement last year for three events with Dreyer & Reinbold (Sonoma, Baltimore & Motegi). He is the former 2008 GP2 champion (source – Guardian), which is the steppingstone for Formula One. Pantano drove for most of one season in Formula One eight seasons ago but never had any success.
Better this season
Kimball is from California and is currently 14th in the IndyCar standings. He’s shown signs of excellent driving in this, his second season of IndyCar racing. Last year he was 19th in the points with no podium or even a top five. This year he’s earned a second place finish and that was just three weeks ago at Toronto (source – Motorsport.com).
As a fan I can assume that with the recent momentum – possibly with a chance to end up in the top 10 in points – the team and driver must be heart-broken.
Mid-Ohio is a two and a quarter mile permanent road course with 13 turns. It is the next IZOD IndyCar event with only three more races after Sunday’s event (August 5th).
Sources – IndyCar, Chip Ganassi Racing
Daryle has been involved in motorsports most of his life and has three decades of experience inside racemarketing, plus for several years has blogged about every type of racing.