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Ogier and Landais are fine, but they will not race

Medical examinations provided reassuring results: Sébastien Ogier and Vincent Landais were uninjured apart from a few bruises and a considerable fright. Despite this, Toyota decided to withdraw Ogier from the Rally Poland. Consequently, Kalle Rovanperä will take their place in the competition.

Sébastien Ogier and Vincent Landais, the esteemed French rally duo, experienced a harrowing moment during the Rally Poland reconnaissance on Tuesday morning. While driving a standard Toyota GR Yaris on a gravel road, they collided head-on with a private car. Fortunately, this incident, which involved two other individuals, resulted in no serious injuries. The condition of the woman driving the other car, accompanied by her daughter, has not been disclosed.

The Ogier-Landais incident

The collision occurred at low speed, with the impact hitting the passenger side of the Toyota Yaris. As a precaution, Ogier and Landais were taken to the hospital for medical evaluations. Both Ogier and the other car’s driver were transported by helicopter for further checks due to back and rib pain, while Landais and the child were taken by ambulance. All involved were conscious at the time of transport.

Medical examinations provided reassuring results: Sébastien Ogier and Vincent Landais were uninjured apart from a few bruises and a considerable fright. Despite this, Toyota decided to withdraw Ogier from the Rally Poland. Consequently, Kalle Rovanperä will take their place in the competition.

Context and safety measures

Incidents during rally reconnaissance, while not extremely common, do occur, especially on gravel tracks and under suboptimal conditions. Rally safety is of paramount importance. The FIA, the motorsport governing body, has implemented various measures to ensure drivers’ safety, including the use of safer cars equipped with GPS to monitor speed and strict safety protocols during races and reconnaissance.

Ogier accident
Ogier accident

Reaction from the rally world

The news of the incident caused significant concern within the rally community. Sébastien Ogier is one of the most beloved, respected, and successful drivers in WRC (World Rally Championship) history. Any incident involving him draws substantial media and fan attention. Within 12 hours, tens of thousands of messages of support and well-wishes flooded social media platforms.

Prospects in Poland

Toyota Gazoo Racing received permission to have Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Halttunen replace Sébastien Ogier and Vincent Landais in the 80th edition of Rally Poland. The French crew had to withdraw from the seventh round of the FIA World Rally Championship following their reconnaissance accident on Tuesday morning. While Landais was released from the hospital almost immediately, Ogier had to remain under observation overnight.

By Tuesday evening, event stewards approved Toyota’s request to replace the French crew with WRC champions Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Halttunen. The stewards’ decision, published at 20:35 local time, stated: “The Stewards authorize the change of Crew for Car No. 17 Sébastien Ogier / Vincent Landais with Crew Kalle Rovanpera / Jonne Halttunen and the modification of the competition number to Car No. 69. The Stewards authorize the Crew of Car No. 69 Kalle Rovanpera / Jonne Halttunen to two reconnaissance passes.”

The quick resolution ensured that the rally would proceed with a strong lineup, maintaining the high competitive standards of the WRC. Meanwhile, Ogier and Landais can focus on their recovery, reassured by the overwhelming support from the rally community.