(Reuters) – World championship leader Thierry Neuville was flown to hospital for precautionary checks on Saturday after crashing out of the Rally of Chile.
Hyundai said the Belgian, who escaped without injury, rolled his car repeatedly on the eighth stage of the penultimate day after drifting wide at the exit of a corner and hitting an earth bank.
Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul extracted themselves from the car without assistance and were attended to on the spot.
“The high-speed nature of the crash will prevent the number 11 crew from continuing in Rally Chile for the rest of the weekend,” Hyundai added.
Neuville started the rally with a 10-point lead over reigning champion Sebastien Ogier after six rounds of the season, and was running in third place at the time of the crash.
Ogier, a six-times world champion, was in second place for Citroen after stage nine with Estonian Ott Tanak leading for Toyota.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in Barcelona, editing by Ed Osmond)