A spectator injured at this evening's opening stage of the Rally of Portugal has been taken to a nearby hospital for a check-up. The man was struck by the right-front wheel of Mads Ostberg's Ford Fiesta RS WRC after the Norwegian hit the wall on the first corner of the stage.
Ostberg understeered off at the right-hander, damaging the wheel. The tire and rim snapped off from the hub under braking after a straight and bounced into the crowd. A source at the event said: "A spectator was treated for shock after the incident and has been taken to a hospital in Lisbon for some checks."
Ostberg dropped almost two minutes driving, virtually, all of the two-mile test on three wheels.
"I can't believe I have been so stupid!" said Ostberg at the end of the stage.
He changed the wheel and will start the first gravel stage tomorrow morning in last place.
Ostberg's fellow Ford driver Mikko Hirvonen won the stage and leads the event by 1.3sec from Sebastien Loeb. The organizers estimate that 40,000 fans turned out to watch the Lisbon test.