"I was hoping for so much from Rallye Deutschland and instead Manfred and I ended up in hospital after what was the largest accident of my career. The event had started so well for the Hyundai Castrol World Rally Team. Both Freddy [Loix] and I...
"I was hoping for so much from Rallye Deutschland and instead Manfred and I ended up in hospital after what was the largest accident of my career.
The event had started so well for the Hyundai Castrol World Rally Team. Both Freddy [Loix] and I were setting very good times on the stages in the Mosel vineyards. The Accent WRC" was running strongly and we had the speed and agility to take on and beat the Fords and Subarus. We were also close to the best performances by the Peugeots and Citroens that are so good on tarmac.
For me it was great to see so many German fans turning out to watch the world's best rally cars on home soil. And the support we were receiving was unbelievable - it gave me a great boost and I wanted to give Germany a great performance in return.
I know the Baumholder stages on day 2 would claim victims. The concrete roads are bumpy and unforgiving - even the slightest mistake can cause a retirement.
Manfred and I planned to use the heavy rain that fell in the morning as our platform for attack. On the first stage we got two punctures and because we carry only one spare wheel we had to put one of the damaged tyres on the rear.
In the next stage I had to drive hard so as to not lose too much time and the car was getting quite sideways in the bends. The accident happened as we went into a right hand bend about 5km before the end of stage 10. We were travelling at about 120kph when we went off on the left and hit a tree then we were thrown back to the other side and hit another tree. It was the biggest accident I have had and we were both grateful for the strength of the Accent.
The hospital tests showed that I have a fractured and dislocated rib - so now I have to get the right treatment to allow myself the best chance to recover as quickly as possible.
I had hoped to make more positive news on the event but it is clear that we are now on the verge of recording some really good results. The car is going faster all the time and the work the whole team has put in is going to pay off.
So keep watching us - Rallye Deutschland may have brought pain rather than joy but Hyundai will be on top soon!"