Franchitti will start CART season

Team KOOL Green driver Dario Franchitti had sustained a broken pelvis and head injuries during CART spring training at Homestead, but the team has confirmed that he will return to the site of his crash to race later this month

Franchitti will start CART season

The Scot had to undergo a test to ascertain his fitness to race, with a gruelling two day private test at Nazareth's 1-mile oval. He completed over 130 laps, and claimed the injuries were no longer troubling him.

The 26 year old had been worried about the effects of vertigo while running at speed, but this turned out not to be a problem.

"I feel fine," he said. "I was a bit mentally tired last night, but there's no sign of vertigo and believe me, it's really saying something if you can run around Nazareth at racing speeds without feeling dizzy! I'm just looking forward to getting on with it and racing at Homestead."

CART's medical chief Dr. Steve Olvey confirmed Franchitti's fitness last Friday, and had left the final decision up to his team.

"Dario underwent an examination by me today as well as neuropsychiatric testing," said Olvey. "Also an MRI scan - all of the tests were in the normal range. He looks great. He looks strong and is fired up to drive. He's been working out during his time off. He's used it to his advantage and he looks good."

Franchitti was competitive with his team mate Paul Tracy at the test, and paid tribute to the Canadian for the work he had done on the Reynard-Honda in his absence.

"Paul did a fantastic job with the testing work, and he gave me a car that was well-balanced from the start," enthused Franchitti.

His fitness to race was finally confirmed by Dr. Terry Trammell, orthapaedic consultant. "Dario is doing fine and healing rapidly," he said "Dario is a healthy, well-conditioned athlete and I have no doubt about his ability to drive without impairment from his injuries. He had no problems of any kind, no pain and functioned well in the car"

The first race of the season will be at Homestead, Miami, on the 26th of March.

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