Stobart Ford's Gigi Galli will have an operation tonight following his crash on day one of the ADAC Rallye Deutschland.
The accident occurred on a flat right-hand corner 11.3 kilometres into SS5, the 23.04 kilometre Grafschaft Veldenz 2 test, when a cut on the inside of the corner bounced his car across the road careering him into some trees at high speed.
Luckily the safety roll-cage on his Ford Focus RS WRC07 did its job and prevented further injury in what could have been a horrific accident.
"Organisers and event medical staff did a fantastic job working efficiently to help the Italian out of his car after he became trapped in it for several minutes after the accident," read a statement from the Stobart team. "Officials also cancelled the stage to allow medical crews easier access to the Italian's car."
Galli was subsequently airlifted to the Barmherzige Hospital in Trier and after suffering a fracture to his left femur he will be operated on in the next few hours.
"To increase the chances of a speedy recovery Galli will be operated on tonight," added the team.
Galli's co-driver Giovanni Bernacchini was also taken to hospital. He was given the all-clear this afternoon and discharged with just cuts and bruises.
Galli had been running eighth overall post-SS4 and on course for the final WRC drivers' point, 14 seconds off Jari-Matti Latvala in P7.
Ford/M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson meanwhile paid tribute to the emergency services and the organisers - and while he was relieved to see Gigi escape serious injury, a broken leg is a big blow for the very popular Italian.
Indeed when Sebastien Loeb broke his arm in 2006 following a mountain bike accident, the Frenchman was out for a number of months.
"It's been a disappointing end to the first day with Gigi being taken to hospital after his high speed accident but I think the strength of the Ford Focus and the car's roll cage prevented further injury," Wilson added. "The emergency services were quickly on the scene, got him removed from the car and off to hospital."
All at Crash.net
wish Gigi a very speedy recovery.