Barron to replace injured de Ferran

Alex Barron has been confirmed as the replacement for the injured Gil de Ferran, for the Indy Japan 300 in Motegi on April 13, after de Ferran was declared unfit to drive. The Brazilian sustained the injury in the IRL event at Phoenix last weekend, in a heavy crash with only 13 laps to go

Barron to replace injured de Ferran

The Penske driver was attempting to overtake Michael Andretti for fifth place when a touch tipped both cars into the wall at high speed. De Ferran's car bounced back into Andretti's before coming to rest on fire. The fire went out quickly but de Ferran had to be lifted out of the car, obviously in pain, by Marshals. He suffered a minor fracture of the lower back and a slight concussion. He was transferred to the regional medical centre in Phoenix shortly afterwards.

"Obviously, I am extremely disappointed that I will be unable to compete at the IRL IndyCar Series' inaugural event at Twin Ring Motegi," said de Ferran. "But I respect Dr. Bock's decision and want to thank the medical staffs of the Indy Racing League, Phoenix International Raceway and Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona."

Dr. Henry Bock, Indy Racing League director of medical services, said: "These injuries will require a minimum of four weeks to heal, that puts Gil on the sideline for Motegi." Tim Cindric, president of Penske Racing, said: "Our primary concern is Gil's health. We understand that Dr. Bock's decision is in the best interest of Gil and his timely recovery."

It is the second time in three races that de Ferran has suffered concussion. The unlucky Brazilian missed out on the 2002 season finale in Texas, after a crash in the penultimate round at the Chicagoland oval. Luckily, Andretti was bruised but otherwise unhurt.

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De Ferran suffers back injury in crash

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