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Anthony Davidson has been found to have sustained a broken back in his airborne accident at the end of the Mulsanne straight earlier in the Le Mans 24 Hours.
The Toyota driver suffered breaks to his T11 and T12 vertebrae after the #81 AF Corse collided with the hybrid prototype, causing it to flip into the air before crashing heavily into the barriers. Initially it seemed that Davidson had emerged unscathed from the crash, but was diagnosed with his injuries after he was transferred to a local hospital from the circuit's medical center.
Davidson confirmed details of the injury to AUTOSPORT, following a tweet which read: "Well that was a big one! Lying in a French hospital with a broken back wasn't what I had in mind at this stage in the race..."
The 33-year-old Briton will remain in the hospital until at least Monday.
Both Toyota TS030 machines retired from the team's debut with the second car withdrawing through engine-related problems in the 11th hour.
"Motorsport can be a rollercoaster of emotions and we experienced great joy to see Nicolas [Lapierre] taking the lead of Le Mans, only for the shock of Anthony's accident," said team president Yoshiaki Kinoshita. "It was a huge relief to hear he is OK and a testament to the strength of the TS030 hybrid monocoque."
The #7 sister car was also involved in contact at the restart following the lengthy clean-up operation, when Kazuki Nakajima crashed into the Nissan DeltaWing, prompting that car's retirement. Running repairs and an alternator failure have subsequently dropped the car, which led briefly before Davidson's shunt, a long way down the order.
"Unfortunately [the accident] triggered further problems for us as Kazuki was among lapped traffic at the restart and was unlucky to make contact," said Kinoshita. "We've had further issues since then but we will keep fighting to get to the flag; we don't give up."