BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team man Mikko Hirvonen and his co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen have been taken to hospital for 'precautionary checks', the M-Sport-run outfit has confirmed.

Hirvonen, lying second after last night's short opening test, was fastest through both the 12.75km Urria and the 22.29km Jukoj?rvi special stages this morning to build a 4.9 second lead in his Focus RS WRC car.

However, the 29-year-old Finn crashed heavily shortly after the midpoint during the second pass through Urria. Although neither were seriously injured and returned to the service park in the rally base of Jyv?skyl? by helicopter, both Hirvonen and Lehtinen were later taken to hospital by road so they could be further assessed.

The accident had happened at a jump immediately after a fast right bend, about 800 metres beyond a famous jump for which the stage is renowned.

"The car landed on the road but started to roll," said Hirvonen, who understandably is bitterly disappointed. "It rolled three or four times. It's the biggest accident I've had.

"I had a great feeling with the car through the first two stages today and I thought this could be a good weekend."