MERC: Mohammed bin Sulayem car fire

Middle East Rally champion Mohammed Ben Sulayem and co-driver Ronan Morgan were both treated in hospital tonight after their car caught fire on the road section immediately following the tenth and penultimate stage in the second leg of the Rally...

Middle East Rally champion Mohammed Ben Sulayem and co-driver Ronan Morgan were both treated in hospital tonight after their car caught fire on the road section immediately following the tenth and penultimate stage in the second leg of the Rally of Lebanon around 6:30pm, Beirut time (+3:00GMT).

Ben Sulayem, who was treated for first-degree burns to his face and neck at Sayidat Al Maounet Hospital in Jbeil, later returned to his hotel in Jounieh.

Morgan, who was treated for second-degree burns to the right side of his face and both hands, remained in hospital overnight under observation. A resident doctor at the hospital said that, in both cases, the burns were not serious.

Ben Sulayem's Ford Focus World Rally Car was completely destroyed by the fire -- the cause of which is not yet determined. Ben Sulayem had reported steering problems after completing the tenth stage. The Ford Middle East Rally Championship team is conducting a full examination to determine the cause of the fire.

A senior Ford spokesperson said: "We are relieved that even though regrettably both Mohammed and Ronan were injured in the incident, their condition is not serious. We wish them both a prompt recovery."

-Ford Racing/rally-net

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Series Other rally