Injury may keep Wirth out of season finale

UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' now. Coming off his first win at Denver, P2 in qualifying at Road America, Wirth was poised to continue his podium streak this past weekend. In a heartbreaking turn of events, an accident at the end of the morning warm up (which he led), Wirth finds himself on the disabled list with injuries to his spine. Not only was he unable to run the race at Road America, but the young German driver confirmed today that he will miss the finale at Montreal, due to his injuries.

"I flew to Indianapolis to see Dr. Trammell and he recommended that I start rehab as quickly as possible. I will fly to Germany in a day or two and start the rehabilitation training program. I can't even describe what I'm feeling – we were second in the points, my car was perfect, I have experience at both Road American and Montreal and this freak accident ends my year. " said the saddened Andreas. "I will return, of course, but this is not how I saw my year ending! Thanks to everyone at Brooks Associates."

"The Champ Car Medical Unit team did their usual top notch work. They took quick care of our young driver, then sent him off for x-rays. Those came out fine, but a CAT scan revealed the vertebrae damage. Andreas is walking around feeling ok, but those tests tell the story. His health is the most important. We appreciate all the kind words from his competitors. I'll tell you one thing, though, the record books won't tell the story on this incredible driver. " said John Brooks, team owner.

The other Brooks driver, Al Unser III, continued his top five success, finishing 4th at Road America. The BoSPoker driver, running at the race, was consistently improving all weekend.

08/22/05 Sunday got off to a painful start for one of the top series' rookies. Germany's Andreas Wirth (#8 Wurges Windows and Doors) was injured in a Sunday morning practice session and was unable to compete in the event. According to Dr. Chris Pinderski, Director of Medical Affairs for both Atlantics and Champ Car, Wirth suffered minor end plate fractures of his T6 and T8 thoracic vertebrae when his car made contact with Zwolsman's machine at the end of the practice. Wirth, ranked second in the points entering the race, was slated to start second Sunday but medical personnel could not clear him compete due to the injuries. He will be re-evaluated today by series Chief Orthopedic Consultant Dr. Terry Trammell to determine if he can race next week in Montreal.

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