Rallying: Sainz denied final rally

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The Independent Online

Carlos Sainz has been forced to pull out of this weekend's Rally Australia after injuring his neck in a pre-event accident.

The Citroën driver was due to take part in his last World Rally Championship round in Australia before retiring, but crashed into a tree during the recce for the event on Tuesday and was taken to hospital.

Sainz is now sporting a neck brace to protect a damaged disc in his spine and will not compete in the final round.

"I don't want to take any risks," he said. "You never know what is going to happen. I didn't know Catalunya would be my last rally. But I don't have any regrets because the party on the Sunday night was beautiful."

The Spaniard bows out of the sport as the most successful driver with 26 rally wins and two world championship titles.