Junior Open Wheel Talent

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Archive for the ‘ Injury ’ Category

Friday Morning Reading

Posted October 22, 2010 at 6:00 am Injury, open wheel racing news Comments

David Tremayne wrote a piece in the September edition of Professional Motorsport World magazine about how overly-aggressive driving by Formula One drivers can negatively impact the driving-style of today’s junior formula pilots who emulate them. It’s an interesting read that brings up some good points. Read it here.

I won’t call out anyone, as Tremanyne does, but I can think of a few drivers who should give this piece a read. A little reminder (about safe driving and using your head) never hurt anyone.



Injury Update: Trummer Set to Return, Jakes Remains Out

Posted August 25, 2010 at 10:55 am GP3, Injury Comments

Just a quick injury update on Simon Trummer and James Jakes of the GP3 Series.  Both drivers were injured during the Hockenheim stop in July.

Trummer, who suffered one broken and three fractured vertebrae in his back, will return this weekend for the race at Spa-Francorchamps.

Jakes, who fractured his right wrist and suffered ligament damage in a separate incident, will not return this weekend.  The surgeries went well, according to inside sources, but the ligaments in his right arm need additional time to heal.  At this time, Jakes has very little strength in his right hand. He hopes to be back in the car for the final weekend of competition at Monza September 10-12, 2010.


Picho Toledano

Three years ago, following a severe crash in a Formula Renault 2.0 car, Alfonso “Picho” Toledano was faced with the prospect of losing both his legs.  He was told that amputation was imminent and he would never race again.  Difficult words for anyone to grasp, but even more difficult for a 17-year-old kid whose dream – for the past 13 years – was to become a professional racecar driver.  The outlook was so disheartening and dreadful that Toledano refused to accept it.

The accident happened in 2007, at the Ponce Circuit in Puerto Rico.  Toledano came through a blind corner and lost his brakes before impacting another car which had come to a halt due to a previous incident.  Both of Toledano’s legs sustained multiple fractures in the crash.  While laying in a Puerto Rican hospital bed, it was suggested, by the FIA, that he be flown to Indianapolis, Indiana for a comprehensive examination by OrthoIndy.  Toledano wasn’t about to argue.  The doctors in Indianapolis  – who had experience working with the IRL – were a bit more familiar with this type of injury and suggested immediate surgery.  Not that there was any other option at that point, but they remained relatively sanguine about saving his legs.  The first surgery, on his right leg, lasted eight hours.  The very next week, he underwent surgery on his left leg.  All together he had 18 surgeries.

[Continue Reading…]


Injury Update on Trummer and Jakes

Posted July 29, 2010 at 12:54 pm GP3, Injury Comments

For those that missed it, Simon Trummer and James Jakes, both of the GP3 Series, were injured last weekend at the Hockenheimring.  While both were initially hopeful (even though it was probably never realistic) to return for Budapest July 30 – August 1, neither will be ready.

It was confirmed, earlier this week, that Trummer has broken one vertabrae and fractured three more in the Race 2 incident.  Jakes, who is currently sixth in the overall standings, will also miss Budapest after injuring several ligaments in his right arm.  Neither driver has, or is able to, confirm a return date at this time.  I certainly hope Trummer and Jakes allow adequate recovery time rather than rush a return and have their results and overall health suffer because of it.

I wish both drivers a speedy recovery.  Stay tuned for future updates.


Interesting Weekend for GP3 Competitors

Posted July 26, 2010 at 1:11 pm GP3, Injury Comments

Josef Newgarden Lands First GP3 Pole
(Photo: James Bearne Photography)

Drivers competing in the inaugural GP3 season faced an “interesting” weekend in Germany, while racing at Hockenheimring.

Following Friday’s practice session 21 drivers were penalized for ignoring caution flags in practice.  Pal Varhaug was demoted seven positions for ignoring the yellow flags and losing control of his racecar under caution.  The end result promoted American Josef Newgarden to pole, his first of the season.  Newgarden was third quickest in the session before penalties were assessed.

In Race 1, Canadian Robert Wickens worked his way forward from third to win the race, his first of the season.  British driver James Jakes trailed Wickens by 2.395 seconds at the stripe with Renger van der Zande rounding out the top-three.   Championship leader, Esteban Gutierrez finished fourth with Stefano Coletti in fifth.

In Race 2, Gutierrez returned to his winning ways claiming his fourth victory of the 2010 season while extending his grasp on the overall championship.  Daniel Juncadella, who started from pole, led the opening laps but a slight error relegated him to second.  Stefano Coletti finished in third place, earning his second top-five finish of the weekend.

Farther back in the field, two drivers were injured in the weekend’s second race.  Simon Trummer reportedly fractured his third vertebrae in a Lap-2 incident.  He was admitted to Ludwigshafen Hospital, but the latest release indicates his injuries may not be as severe as originally thought.  Jakes was also injured in Race 2 following contact with Newgarden.  The British driver underwent surgery today to repair damaged ligaments in his right arm.  Neither Trummer or Jakes have set a return-date, but both hope to be back in the cockpit as soon as possible.

With the weekend results added to the points’ championship, Gutierrez leads Wickens by 30 points with American Alexander Rossi eight points back in third place.  The Series returns to action in Budapest July 30-August 1.


Keenan Harris plans to return to the BGR/Team Grote camp this weekend for Rounds 7-8 of the 2010 Ontario Formula Ford Championship.  Harris was forced to sit out the bulk of the season with a broken collar bone, following a cycling accident earlier in the year.  Harris plans to graduate to the F2000 Championship in 2011.


Injury Update: Pippa Mann Fractures Hand

Posted July 20, 2010 at 9:59 am Indy Lights, Injury Comments

Indy Lights driver Pippa Mann fractured a metacarpal bone in her left hand during an on-track incident Friday in Toronto.  At this point, it doesn’t appear the injury will slow her down.  She expects to have a brace ready for this weekend’s race in Edmonton.

After seven starts this season, Mann has three top-ten finishes and one pole position (Indianapolis).  She finished eighth last weekend in Toronto.


Niemela Injured During BMX Race

Posted June 15, 2010 at 11:36 pm Injury, open wheel racing news Comments

Markus Niemela, who won the 2008 Atlantic Championship, broke his left wrist and dislocated his thumb this week in a BMX accident.  The injury did require surgery, which was successful.  According to the latest report, Niemela is doing okay but will be kept in the hospital overnight for observation.

Niemela has been racing sprint cars this season, which is a big change for the 26-year-old Finnish driver.

“The speed is there but I’m just learning race craft on both ovals and dirt,” said Niemela last month when asked about his sprint car experiences. “In addition, we have had few technical problems.  In my last race I drove half of my heat with the throttle stuck and half of the main event with a nearly flat tire. There’s plenty of potential to do great things this season!”

This week’s injury will likely set Niemela’s sprint car efforts back slightly, but I don’t expect he will be down for long.

Markus Niemelä
(photo: Veikko Roslöf)


F3 Euro Series Update…

Posted September 2, 2009 at 5:53 pm F3 Euro Series, Injury Comments

Stefano Coletti will miss this weekend’s Formula 3 Euro Series race at Brands Hatch after suffering a slight fracture of the sternum via a crash in his latest GP2 outing at Spa.  The 20-year-old driver was battling for a top-ten finish, after starting from pitlane, when he lost the car and impacted the barriers.  The incident occurred with only a few laps remaining.  Coletti is currently participating in a rehab program with hopes of returning later this month for the Barcelona round.  The season concludes October 23-25, 2009 at the Hockenheimring in Germany.

Prema Powerteam signed Tim Sandtler as a replacement for Coletti at this weekend’s event at Brands Hatch.  It was initially reported that the team would be fielding three cars, but I’m assuming they wanted to get a backup driver ready in case Coletti wasn’t able to return. Sandtler has previous experience in Formula BMW, F3 Euro Series, and International Formula Master.


Injury Update

Posted August 26, 2009 at 7:38 pm Injury Comments

According to IndyCar medical specialist Dr. Terry Trammell, Gustavo Yacaman suffered a minimally compressed fracture of the fifth thoracic vertebra in Sunday’s Indy Lights race at Infineon Raceway.  He is likely done for the season.   Per Gustavo’s Twitter account:

Gustavo Yacaman:  Season is over. Had a very bad crash, engine is broken, tube is broken. Not a good weekend. Not a good year.

It sounds as if Atlantic Championship competitor Frankie Muniz is also done for the season.  Frankie suffered a bone chip in his thumb …along with several torn ligaments in his hand from an incident at Mid-Ohio.  Per Frankie’s Twitter account:

Frankie Muniz:  good and bad news… i survived surgery. 2 pins in my hand.. bad news, my racing season is over… super bummed

As reported this morning, Star Mazda competitor Taylor Hacquard is still recovering from injuries suffered during the July 10th Iowa Speedway event.  Per Taylor’s Twitter account:

Taylor Hacquard:  made it home to vancouver and feeling the effects of the crash.. sore spine (compressed), sore knees, shoulders and neck.

Hacquard plans to be back in the seat for Road Atlanta.  He will be driving for World Speed Motorsports for the remainder of the 2009 season.

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