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FEBRUARY 23, 2004

Champ Car lets go its medical experts

The Champ Car series is planning a change in its safety team with Dr Stephen Olvey and Dr. Terry Trammell not being retained to look after drivers at races. It seems that the new owners of CART are not willing to renew the contracts on the same terms as previously. Presumably the problem is one of money as it makes little sense to drop two of the best known names in the world of motorsport medicine

Trammell and Olvey are amongst the most experienced racing doctors in the world. Olvey is a professor in neurology at the Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami while Trammell is a world-renowned orthopedic surgeon based in Indianapolis.

Both men have been involved in racing for more than 20 years. Trammell has been performing extraordinary feats of surgery at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis since the early 1980s when he made his name rebuilding the legs of Danny Ongais and Rick Mears. Many others have followed. Olvey is well-known for championing the HANS system which is now in use in Formula 1.

Both men are in regular contact with the safety people in Formula 1 and it will be interesting to see whether they might play a larger role in F1 now that Champ Cars no longer seems to be interested.