Neuville and Wydaeghe released from hospital after WRC test crash

Hyundai Motorsport has confirmed Thierry Neuville and co-driver Martijn Wydaeghe have been released from hospital following a nasty testing crash in France.

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The duo were transferred to a hospital in Montpellier on Saturday after a serious crash during the final day of Hyundai’s first test with the final iteration of its i20 N Rally1 2022 World Rally Championship challenger.

Hyundai initially released a statement confirmed the pair were “safe" after going off the road and that paramedics had attended the scene to treat a shoulder injury for Wydaeghe.  

The team has now announced that both drivers have undergone checks in hospital and have been released. 

“Update: hospital checks completed for Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydaeghe. Both have been already released from the hospital in Montepellier,” read a statement on Hyundai’s social media channels.

The extent of Wydaeghe’s shoulder injury remains unclear while images circulating on Twitter have shown the i20 N suffered significant damage in the crash.

It does appear the new tougher FIA safety cell on Hyundai’s new Rally1 hybrid car has held up well, with both Neuville and Wydaeghe escaping the crash without serious injury. Exactly how the accident occurred is yet to be revealed.

Hyundai i20 Rally1

Hyundai i20 Rally1

Photo by: Hyundai

This was Neuville and Wydaeghe’s first meaningful run in the new car after their originally planned test was abandoned earlier this week due to heavy snow in the Alsace region.

Teammates Ott Tanak and Oliver Solberg had conducted the majority of the mileage during this week’s test that began in snow and icy conditions.  

The crash occurred at the end of Hyundai’s maiden test with the revised i20 having previously conducted its initial Rally1 hybrid testing with a prototype mule.

This new-look i20, featuring revised bodywork, is believed to be extremely close to the homologated model that will be used in next year’s Monte Carlo season opener from 20-23 January. 

Neuviile’s crash is the latest incident in WRC pre-season testing following an accident for Toyota’s Elfyn Evans in France last month which required the team to abandon the test to repair its GR Yaris.

It prevented Sebastien Ogier from completing his maiden test in Toyota’s all-new Rally1 hybrid.      

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