Ostberg out of Rally Australia

AFP

Mads Ostberg will not compete in the Rally Australia this week after he was injured in a crash with a truck in the recce for the New South Wales World Rally Championship event.

The Citroen driver will be replaced by Stephane Lefebvre after he and co-driver Jonas Andersson were hurt in a head-on collision on the final stage of the recce on Tuesday.

Norwegian Ostberg and Swede Andersson were able to compete in Wednesday's recce, but have now withdrawn from the main event, which starts on Thursday.

"It is with deep regrets I have to announce that me and Jonas have to withdraw from ‪#‎RallyAustralia‬. We got through recce today, but we are both in so much pain from the injuries we suffered yesterday," Ostberg posted on Facebook.

"We had a lucky escape, but we are pretty beaten up after the heavy impact. From the moment we got in the car this morning we knew instantly that there was absolutely no way we were able to drive a rally in this condition. 

"We are extremely disappointed and really frustrated with the organisers. This was such an important rally for us. This accident will cost us the chance to fight for a top three spot in the Championship and our current overall position.

"We are grateful for the safety of our recce car preventing more damage. This cannot happen again, and we hope all rally organisers take necessary steps to keep the contestants safe driving through recce. There cannot be a next time! Safety first."

Ostberg is fourth in the drivers' standings with three races to come after the Rally Australia.