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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 November, 2003, 18:08 GMT
Burns rues sad end
Richard Burns
Richard Burns says his season has ended in frustration after a mystery illness ruined his bid to clinch a second world rally championship title.

The 32-year-old was forced to pull out of this weekend's Rally of Britain after his blackout at the wheel while driving to Cardiff on Monday.

"I'm obviously disappointed that I won't be competing," said the Briton.

"This really isn't the way I wanted to leave Peugeot but I want to thank everyone for their support."

Burns left hospital on Tuesday after the motorway drama which left his world rally title hopes in tatters - but it could have been much worse.

Fellow rally driver Markko Martin, who drives for Ford, was on hand to help Burns steer the car to the side of the road.

What happened to him is of huge importance from a health point of view
Peugeot team boss Corrada Provera
Peugeot team boss Corrada Provera said he would not risk letting Burns get behind the wheel in Wales and revealed that the Briton will have more tests next week.

"You know that you can't take the start without being in perfect physical and mental condition, which seems not to be the case with Richard so far," said Provera.

"What happened to him is something of huge importance from a health point of view.

"Tests have been done on him which couldn't lead the doctors to find the reason for the symptoms that he had. Other tests will be made on him next week."

Burns added on his website: "All I can do now is wish Freddy Loix, Marcus Gronholm, Gilles Panizzi and Harri Rovanpera the best of luck and hope they can bring home the manufacturers' title for Peugeot."

The rally on home soil would have been his last race for Peugeot before he returns to Subaru next year.

  • Skoda plan to scale down their world rally championship programme next season as they try to cut costs.

    The team plan to stay closer to the Czech Republic and are likely to compete in only 10 races.


  • WORLD RALLY 2003

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