Carpentier, Dana Hospitalised

Carpentier, Dana Hospitalised
Patrick Carpentier and Paul Dana were taken to hospital for check ups today after a pair of lurid crashes in Phoenix. Both drivers were forced to miss qualifying.

Dana's hit the wall in the morning session at turn 2, while Carpentier had an almost identical incident at the same turn during the midday session. Both drivers were immediately taken to the track's medical centre prior to a visit to hospital for further x-rays.

Dana's visit was purely precautionary; Carpentier's visit was more serious - his car caught fire in the incident - and he was taken to the hospital by ambulance. X-rays of his chest and ribs showed no damage, and he has been cleared to race.

"I just lost the back end in the apex between one and two,"said series rookie Dana. "We've been fighting an understeer - there's not a lot of grip down there, and we've really been struggling. It was a little bit loose the previous lap, and I should have pitted."

''The left side of my rib cage was hit by a piece of the brake system that came lose when I hit the wall,'' Carpentier noted after his treatment. ''The team put a neutral set-up on the car and it did not work - the rear end came loose.

"This situation changes everything because I was hoping to start mid-grid - now I'm back of the pack again. I will have to be patient, but I cannot afford to lose a lap to the leaders early in the race - it's a tall order for such a short track, but we never know what can happen in a race.''

Carpentier, who starts from the back of the grid for the second time in as many races, will start in 20th position, while Dana will start in 22nd. The pair are split by reigning champion Tony Kanaan, who did not set a qualifying time after changing out his engine.

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