Motorsport: Proton pair in hospital

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JENNY DAVIES and her co-driver Claire Mole, of the Proton team, were taken to hospital yesterday after being involved in a crash which halted the Stena Line Ulster Rally.

The pair collided with a tree on the second stage of the event, which is the penultimate round of the Mobil 1 British Championship. Neither competitor was believed to be seriously hurt, although Mole was thought to have suffered a back injury.

The second stage was abandoned because of the crash and each competitor was given a notional time before they headed on to section three.

There was some compensation for Proton in that David Mann, the non-works Persona driver, had set the joint fastest time in the opener with Toyota's Jonny Milner. Their Group N cars had obtained more grip on the wet roads than the Championship contenders. The two-litre entries were headed by Tapio Laukkanen's Renault.

The Brazilian Flavio Figueiredo is to drive John Cleland's Vauxhall Vectra in this weekend's two rounds of the Auto Trader RAC British Touring Car Championship at Thruxton after the Scot pulled out through injury. The twice British Touring Car champion, sixth in the standings this year, broke a rib at Snetterton last Sunday and despite pain-killing injections he has had to withdraw from the race.

Cleland said: "I'm bitterly disappointed. I'm sure we could have competed well at Thruxton and scored a lot of points. This is the first time in 10 years I've missed a Touring Car race. It's never happened before and it feels very strange."

Figueiredo, one of the leading Vauxhall Vectra Challenge drivers, said: "It is a very good chance for me to show what I can do in a Touring Car."