Dakar: McRae uninjured

Colin McRae has emerged unscathed from a massive roll on the sixth day of the Dakar Rally. The scale of the accident was such however that the Scot, who was leading at the time in his factory Nissan Pickup, has been forced to retire from the event

Dakar: McRae uninjured

Immediately after coming to rest, McRae reportedly contacted the team to confirm he and his co-driver Tina Thorner had escaped serious injury. "I am dazed, but unharmed," he told a team official. He is expected to return to Scotland tomorrow.

McRae had held the overall lead in the event coming into 622km run between Smarra to Zouerat, in Mauritania, but was caught out 410km into the stage, after the second checkpoint.

McRae reported that visibility was poor because of high winds and that he had taken off, after hitting what he thought was a small jump that turned out to be a big one. The former world rally champion was given a lift back to the event's bivouac headquarters where upon he received an all-clear after a precautionary medical. He is however complaining of troubled vision, while Thorner claims to have hurt her back.

The stage was won by Mitsubishi's Stephane Peterhansel, who beat compatriot Hiroshi Masuoka by five minutes and 58 seconds. Saby now leads the event with a 40s lead over team-mate Luc Alphand.

The event's only other stage winner other than McRae and Peterhansel, NASCAR star Robbie Gordon, is facing a battle to stay in the event after crashing just before the second checkpoint on the stage. The American is believed to have severely damaged the rear of his VW Touareg. He has twice tried to carry on to the finish, but both times had to stop to carry on repairs. It is not clear whether he will be able to continue.

McRae's Nissan team-mate Ari Vatanen is also reported to have run into problems after 55km with a mechanical issue. A Nissan support crew is with the Finn now to see if his car is fixable.


Saby/Perin (VW Touareg), 9h22m31s
Alphand/Picard (Mitsubishi Pajero Evo), 9h23m11s
Kleinschmidt/Pons (VW Touareg), 9h26m27s
Al Attiyah/Guehennec (BMW X5), 9h27m03s

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