Burns released from hospital

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The Independent Online

Richard Burns was released from hospital in Wales yesterday following the collapse which put paid to his hopes of winning the world championship.

The 32-year-old driver passed out at the wheel of his Porsche on Sunday night while driving to Cardiff for this weekend's season-ending rally but was saved from crashing by his fellow rally driver Markko Martin, who took the wheel and guided the car to safety.

Burns was taken to hospital in Newport and was then transferred to a private hospital in Cardiff, where he underwent a brain scan and other tests.

The decision to order him to miss the season's finale ended Burns' outside chance of regaining the world title he won in 2001 with Subaru, the team he rejoins next year after two winless seasons with Peugeot.

Five points behind Citroën's Sebastien Loeb and Carlos Sainz and four adrift of Subaru's Petter Solberg, he would have had to have won and hoped his three rivals came to grief to have stood any chance of taking the title.

Peugeot's team chief, Corrado Provera, said: "I think they took the right decisionby saying it was impossible to take the risk in the rally. You can't take the start without being in perfect physical and mental condition."