Pietro Fittipaldi has first kart test since leg-breaking LMP1 crash

Pietro Fittipaldi says he is on target for his IndyCar return at Mid-Ohio next month after testing a kart for the first time since his leg-breaking World Endurance Championship accident

Pietro Fittipaldi has first kart test since leg-breaking LMP1 crash

Fittipaldi, who has been rehabilitating with renowned orthopaedic surgeons Doctors Terry Trammell and Timothy Weber and at PitFit Training in Indianapolis, returned home to North Carolina two days ago and went karting at the GoPro Motorplex track in Mooresville with his brother Enzo and former Indycar racer uncle Max Papis.

It was the first time Fittipaldi had been on track since breaking both legs in his LMP1 crash at the WEC opener at Spa in May, which caused him to miss the Indianapolis 500 and two other races that should have featured in his part-season with Dale Coyne Racing.

"I have been using a simulator, but this was my first time driving something 'real life' since the accident," Fittipaldi told Autosport.

"Obviously I feel the injuries a little bit when I'm going over kerbing - those karts have no suspension really, it goes straight through your body.

"But it's normal and I'm really happy with everything.

"It's not 100% yet which is why I'm still working on the recovery - I mean, things like walking. But when I got in the kart I could drive very well.

"So at Mid-Ohio I will test a Formula 4 car and then the IndyCar too. I don't know the track, but at the same time I'm learning the new track, I'll be seeing how I feel. It will be a shakedown.

"The F4 car has steel brakes and you don't have to hit the brakes as hard as the carbon brakes like you have in IndyCar, so I'm gradually making steps, getting into it slowly."

Coyne has shuffled its programme so Fittipaldi will now compete in the final five races of the IndyCar season after his Mid-Ohio return at the end of July.

Fittipaldi admitted there had been times when he doubted his target to returning to racing in under three months was going to be achievable.

"You just never know how fast the bones are going to heal, but I'm really lucky," he said.

"My ankle has healed extremely well and stayed mobile and strong, and they're both really important characteristics.

"And the bones on my left leg that broke, they take longer just because they're bigger bones.

"When you have an accident like that, you have to set a goal for recovery otherwise it becomes a bit too open.

"And so I looked at the IndyCar calendar and counted down and I set myself an optimistic goal.

"I sat down with Dr Trammell and we said, 'OK, this is the goal for this week, this is the goal for this week, this is the next goal,' and so on.

"Although it was optimistic, it was possible and achievable and we're still on target and I can come back strong."

shares
comments
Dixon: IndyCar front wing change would boost road course overtaking
Previous article

Dixon: IndyCar front wing change would boost road course overtaking

Next article

IndyCar Iowa: Will Power leads Penske front row lockout

IndyCar Iowa: Will Power leads Penske front row lockout
How Ericsson achieved Indy immortality as Ganassi's main man stumbled Plus

How Ericsson achieved Indy immortality as Ganassi's main man stumbled

Chip Ganassi Racing team was strong again in the Indianapolis 500, with poleman Scott Dixon and reigning champion Alex Palou leading almost three quarters of the race between them. But when dominator Dixon was penalised for pitlane speeding, ex-Formula 1 driver Marcus Ericsson stepped up to score the biggest win of his career and seize the IndyCar points lead

IndyCar
May 30, 2022
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 21, 2021
How F1's other IndyCar exile finally unlocked his potential Plus

How F1's other IndyCar exile finally unlocked his potential

Romain Grosjean's swashbuckling rookie year in IndyCar captured the imagination of many in 2021. But another ex-Formula 1 driver whose potential was masked by five years of toil in, at best, middling machinery also enjoyed a breakout year in 2021 - winning twice and finishing sixth in points. Here's how Marcus Ericsson finally delivered on his promise

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
How Ganassi's relentless new champion outfoxed IndyCar's best Plus

How Ganassi's relentless new champion outfoxed IndyCar's best

IndyCar sophomore Alex Palou stunned by overcoming team-mate Scott Dixon and the rest of a white-hot field in 2021. He was consistently fast and crucially showed a level head, rebounding well from setbacks to put himself in a near unassailable position entering the final round

IndyCar
Nov 4, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Plus

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Despite appearing to have an IndyCar job for life with Meyer Shank Racing, Jack Harvey’s departure and move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate. However, Harvey's and RLL's combined strengths could prove to be a winning combination - if they get the balance right

IndyCar
Oct 17, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win Plus

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win

Saturday 16 October marks the 10th anniversary of Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Plus

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong junior career and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star Plus

Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star

Newly-crowned IndyCar champion Alex Palou has been lauded as a complete driver and veteran-like in only his second season. The 24-year-old is still in the early days of his career, but the parallels are there for all to see with his six-time champion Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate who has been CGR's team leader since 2014

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021