World championship leader Neuville hospitalised after Chile crash

Concepción (Chile) (AFP) –


World rally championship leader Thierry Neuville rolled his car on a ridge at the Rally of Chile on Saturday and despite scrambling clear of his battered Hyundai was taken to hospital, his team said.

The Belgian ace's team tweeted that Neuville had been taken to a hospital in Concepcion as a precaution, but played down reports of a fracture.

"After being examined at the hospital in Concepcion we can happily confirm Thierry has no fractures or injuries after his roll this morning," Hyundai said after his check up.

Co-driver Nicolas Gisoul escaped relatively unscathed from the eighth stage incident.

The car was said to be badly damaged and left crumpled on its side as the race was red flagged.

Rival Jari-Matti Latvala of Finland described Neuville's crash site as "a nasty place", with the rally winding through forested terrain with hairpin bends.

Overall leader Ott Tanak said the logging roads being used on the first ever world rally championship visit to Chile were highly demanding.

"Thierry's accident can happen to anyone in a place like that," said Toyota driver Tanak.

Tanak leads six-time world champion Sebastien Ogier by 34.6 seconds after nine stages with Latvala in third, another 16.4sec off the pace with an afternoon loop going over the same terrain remaining to be raced.

Neuville led the overall standings of the world championship by 10 points from Ogier heading into the Rally of Chile.