Ogier withdraws from WRC Rally Poland after reconnaissance crash

Toyota World Rally Championship driver Sebastien Ogier has avoided serious injuries following a Rally Poland reconnaissance crash, but will withdraw from this week’s event.

Eight-time world rally champion Ogier and co-driver Landais were taken to hospital on Tuesday morning for medical checks after being involved in a road traffic accident.

Ogier and Landais were driving a GR Yaris reconnaissance car which collided with another vehicle. The driver and passenger of the other car involved and two members of the public were also hospitalised.

The incident occurred while the duo were preparing their pacenotes for the Goldap special stage, which forms Stage 10 and Stage 14 for what would have been Ogier’s fifth round of a partial WRC campaign, following wins in Croatia and Portugal and second places in Monte Carlo and Sardinia.

Toyota has confirmed that everyone involved in the crash has avoided serious injuries, but Ogier and Landais will no longer compete in the seventh round of the WRC season as a pairing. The event’s first stage is due to begin on Friday.

«Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT crew Sebastien Ogier and Vincent Landais were taken to hospital for checks following a road traffic collision during reconnaissance for Rally Poland on Tuesday morning,» read the statement.

«Two occupants of the other vehicle involved, members of the public, were also taken to hospital for medical checks. The incident took place while Ogier and Landais were preparing for the Goldap special stage, which forms SS10 and SS14 of the rally this Saturday.

Sébastien Ogier, Vincent Landais, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Sébastien Ogier, Vincent Landais, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

«Ogier and Landais were driving a road car as is the standard practice for rally reconnaissance. All recce cars have GPS tracking, which shows the speeds were within the limits set.

«All involved have underdone scans which showed no serious injuries. While Landais has been discharged, Ogier will remain under medical observation overnight and will not be able to participate in the event.

«The safety and well-being of all involved remains the upmost priority of the team. Alongside this, the team is considering its options regarding any replacement and will provide an update in due course.»

Those options could conceivably include Rovanpera, while Sami Pajari is on the ground in Poland competing in a Rally2 specification GR Yaris.  

Rising star Pajari had been set to make his Rally1 debut with the team in Latvia next month, piloting a fourth entry, before Toyota announced plans on Monday to reshuffle its plans by putting Ogier in the seat, delaying Pajari’s outing to Finland. 

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