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
Load comments

About this article

Series IndyCar
Drivers Jordan King , Pietro Fittipaldi
Author David Malsher
The Indycar season that proves Michael Andretti is better than F1 showed Plus

The Indycar season that proves Michael Andretti is better than F1 showed

Often unfairly characterised as a car-breaker, judged for his lack of an Indianapolis 500 win and a disappointing part-season of Formula 1 in 1993, Michael Andretti was highly respected by his rivals and only thwarted greater success by ill-fortune. When it all came together in 1991, he was a truly formidable force

IndyCar
Mar 6, 2021
How McLaren is striving towards IndyCar's elite Plus

How McLaren is striving towards IndyCar's elite

The second year of McLaren's full-time IndyCar return is looming, with Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist leading its line-up. Strong team personnel and work behind the scenes means that 2021 could be the year it joins the established elite

IndyCar
Feb 21, 2021
The enigmatic legacy of a misunderstood Indy stalwart Plus

The enigmatic legacy of a misunderstood Indy stalwart

Flashes of brilliance amid spells of obscurity have been too common for Marco Andretti. While the third-generation racer has opted to bring his full-time IndyCar career to a close, his peaks and troughs have never been for want of trying

IndyCar
Jan 20, 2021
Why American racing's top dog is without equal Plus

Why American racing's top dog is without equal

A byword for success in business and in motorsport for over 50 years, Roger Penske's importance to the US scene cannot be understated. In an exclusive interview, the custodian of the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway reflects on his journey

IndyCar
Jan 11, 2021
The McLaren that rendered its Indy rivals obsolete Plus

The McLaren that rendered its Indy rivals obsolete

When founder Bruce McLaren died in June 1970, his team could have folded. Instead, his loyal band rallied to produce a string of winners - including an Indycar game-changer that won its third Indianapolis 500 five years after its debut

IndyCar
Dec 22, 2020
Why Newgarden's best IndyCar season yet wasn't enough Plus

Why Newgarden's best IndyCar season yet wasn't enough

Josef Newgarden feels he didn't put a foot wrong in 2020, yet his finest season-long run of performances failed to yield a third series championship. But in a warning shot to Scott Dixon, Team Penske's team leader has vowed to redouble his efforts in 2021

IndyCar
Dec 21, 2020
How Dixon held on in IndyCar's most unpredictable season Plus

How Dixon held on in IndyCar's most unpredictable season

Three wins on the trot gave the Chip Ganassi Racing superstar the cushion he needed to hang on for a sixth title in the face of Josef Newgarden's late challenge. Here's the rundown of a typically frantic IndyCar campaign in an extraordinary year

IndyCar
Nov 28, 2020
The balancing act required for improving racing at Indy Plus

The balancing act required for improving racing at Indy

Calls for an improvement in the racing spectacle at the Indianapolis 500 have been met with small aerodynamic tweaks from IndyCar on superspeedways. But where such high speeds are involved, even minor adjustments require significant planning

IndyCar
Oct 31, 2020