Japanese driver Kenjiro Shinozuka and Frenchman co-driver Thierry Delli-Zotti were seriously injured during stage eight of the Dakar Rally today. Shinozuka was driving the No. 201 Nissan in the T2/3 Super Production class. The team Nissan XX car flew off a bump in the Libyan desert flying ten metres (approximately 30 feet) before rolling over and coming to a rest on its side.
Both Shinozuka and co-driver Delli-Zotti were transported by helicopter to the medical center in Sabha, Lybia. Further medical evaluations will take place to determine when and how the two competitors will be transfered to Tunis, Tunisia.
The 54-year-old Shinozuka was listed in very serious condition by the rally organizers. Delli-Zotti was listed in serious condition. Prior to stage eight start, Shinozuka and Delli-Zotti were sitting third in the cars overall standings.
UPDATE: 3:38 p.m. EST
Sabha medical center results:
Shinozuka - serious injuries including facial trauma; receiving breathing assistance. He will be transported to Tunisia and then to Paris when his status is stable.
Delli-Zotti - satisfactory condition; however will be transported to Tunisia for precautionary scan.
NOTE: Rider Alfie Cox injury
Earlier on stage eight, KTM rider Cox fell and injured his shoulder. The South African was treated at the Sabha medical center.
MEDICAL UPDATE: Friday, January 10 at 6:30am EST
Shinozuka is now listed satisfactory condition and out of danger. Surgery was performed last night on the Nissan Japanese driver. Delli-Zotti has also shown signs of improvement. Both drivers remain in the Tunis hospital but are expected to be moved to Paris, France.
MEDICAL UPDATE: Friday at 1:45pm EST
Shinozuka has been removed from the breathing assistance and is waking up. He still remains under guarded condition and is suffering from major non-life threatening injuries.
RIDER ROMA SUSTAINS INJURIES ON STAGE NINE:
Telefonica Repsol KTM rider, Joan Roma sustained a back injury Friday early morning. Roma is in satisfactory condition and will be taken to Cairo for further medical tests. Roma was third overall in Motobikes following stage eight.
MEDICAL UPDATE ON ALFIE COX: Friday at 8:00pm EST
Alfie Cox will return to South Africa after x-rays showed that his shoulder is cracked. He returns home to Durban Saturday.
Motorsport.com will have updates as they become available.