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Da Matta in critical state after crash

Cristiano da Matta underwent emergency surgery last night following a major crash at Road America during the first day of a two-day test session at the circuit.

The Brazilian, who last Sunday scored his best result of the season with second place at San Jose, was approaching Turn 6 at the Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin venue when his RuSPORT car was in collision with a deer.

According to eye witnesses, the animal struck the right front corner of the car, was thrown across the cockpit, and da Matta plunged off circuit with his foot still on the throttle.

Da Matta was airlifted to Theda Clark Memorial Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery for a subdural hematoma. A subdural hematoma is a form of traumatic brain injury.

The following is a statement released by Champ Car Medical Director Dr Chris Pinderski.

"After arriving at Theda Clark Medical Center a head CT scan showed Cristiano had suffered a subdural hematoma. He was urgently taken to the operating room for surgical removal of the hematoma and is now being observed in the intensive care unit."

RuSPORT and their second driver Justin Wilson have pulled out of the planned two-day test, and returned to its Loveland, Colorado base.

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