Former World Rally champion Ari Vatanen will be airlifted to hospital in Marseille for an operation on his neck following his crash on the Tour de Corse on Friday, but the Finn is expected to make a full recovery.
Vatanen crashed the Peugeot 207 RC he was driving as course car on this weekend's round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge on the sixth stage. He was initially airlifted to hospital in Bastia, on the island of Corsica, after complaining of back pain at the site of the crash during stage six.
Vatanen's son and co-driver Max was uninjured in the crash, which forced the cancellation of the stage.
The operation which Vatanen will undergo in Marseille is described as 'routine' and he will be moved as soon as suitable transport can be arranged to get him off the island.
A statement from the organisers of the Tour de Corse released soon after the crash said: "After leaving the road the driver, Ari Vatanen, suffered a violent front shock with trauma of the cervical dorsal without peripheral injury.
"No loss of consciousness. Normal blood pressure. Transferred to the neurosurgery service in the hospital of Bastia by helicopter."