Sports car owner-driver, Dakar frontrunner, and former skiing star Luc Alphand has suffered severe back injuries in a motorcycle accident.
Alphand, whose Luc Alphand Aventures squad runs Chevrolets in the FIA GT Championship, the Le Mans Series and in the Le Mans 24 Hours, crashed during the Rand'Auvergne motorcycle rally on Sunday. The 43-year-old's manager Philippe Poincioux said the recovery process would be slow but that there should not be permanent damage.
"From what I understand Luc did not lose consciousness," Poincioux told the AFP news agency. "There is no danger of brain damage. We think that he fractured his spine.
"Mentally, it's a big blow for him knowing that he will be unable to move for some time. He is really down even though he knows he has been lucky it was not worse. He is in great physical shape and that will help recovery."
Alphand switched to motorsport after the end of his skiing career. In addition to contesting full sportscar seasons with his own team, he is also part of Mitsubishi's Dakar Rally programme, and won the famous event outright in 2006.