Trammel will be an advisor
NEW YORK -- The two doctors who saved Italian driver Alex Zanardi's life in 2001 as part of the Champ Car safety team have not been retained to provide medical care by the CART series' new owners Open Wheel Racing Series (OWRS).
Dr. Stephen Olvey, a professor and director of the Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital/University of Miami, will no longer be involved with the series, which opens in Long Beach, Calif. on April 18.
Dr. Terry Trammell, an orthopaedic surgeon based in Indianapolis, will continue to work for the series but only in an advisory role related to 2005 chassis design.
"After 22 years neither myself nor Terry will be providing medical care at the race track this year," said Olvey, who established the CART safety team that eventually included a mobile medical unit to provide on-the-scene medical care.
Former CART champion Zanardi, who has also driven in Formula One for Lotus and Williams, survived a near fatal high speed crash at the Lausitzring, Germany in Sept., 2001 but lost two liters of blood and had to have both legs amputated.
Zanardi told Reuters by phone: "I can't imagine two doctors with not only the experience but the passion for the sport. I wouldn't be talking to you today if it were not for them."
Late last year Olvey had discussions with one of the three OWRS principals about continuing to work for the series on a cost reduction basis but recently was told by e-mail that his contract would not be renewed as it previously existed.
Champ Car spokesman Eric Mauk confirmed that Olvey was being replaced as the series medical director but said the organization would have no further comment.
CART, which began racing in 1979, became a public company in 1998 but filed for bankruptcy last year after its shares plummeted. In January a federal bankruptcy judge awarded the assets of the bankrupt CART series to OWRS.
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