Mads Ostberg has pulled out of Rally Australia after suffering two cracked ribs during a pre-event recce crash.

The Citroen rally driver and his co-driver Jonas Andersson were involved in an accident on Tuesday afternoon on the Valla stage and after a medical check-up Ostberg had been cleared to continue. However, Ostberg has subsequently ruled himself out because he is suffering with too much pain to drive.

"It is with deep regrets I have to announce that me and Jonas have to withdraw from Rally Australia," Ostberg announced on his Facebook page. "We got through recce today, but we are both in so much pain from the injuries we suffered yesterday.

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"We had a lucky escape, but we are pretty beaten up after the heavy impact. From the moment we got in the car this morning we knew instantly that there was absolutely no way we were able to drive a rally in this condition."

Ostberg, who currently sits fourth in the WRC championship, has called on the Rally Australia organisers to take action to prevent a similar accident from happening again which the Norwegian feels was easily avoidable.

"We are extremely disappointed and really frustrated with the organisers," he explained. "This was such an important rally for us. This accident will cost us the chance to fight for a top three spot in the Championship and our current overall position.

"We are grateful for the safety of our recce car preventing more damage. This cannot happen again, and we hope all rally organisers take necessary steps to keep the contestants safe driving through recce. There cannot be a next time! Safety first."

Ostberg's unfortunate absence sees Stephane Lefebrve step in as his replacement in Australia. The French rally driver had travelled with Citroen to take part in the recce only and the WRC2 star now has just a couple of days to prepare for Rally Australia.

"I really feel gutted for Mads and Jonas and I hope they will quickly be back on their feet," Lefebvre said. "I have never driven the DS 3 WRC on gravel and am expecting a complicated weekend.

"Normally I prepare for a rally several weeks ahead, watching onboard footage from previous editions to get used to the stages. This won't be possible but all experience is good and I thank Citro?n Racing for its confidence."

Citroen team manager Marek Nawarecki says there is no pressure on Lefebvre in terms of results and shares similar frustrations to his driver Ostberg after he was ruled out by the accident.

"All the team is very disappointed for Mads and Jonas. They had the motivation and potential to achieve a very good result here," Nawarecki said. "Without proper preparation we are not expecting that Stephane will be competitive but for him it is a new opportunity to learn. We are asking him to finish the rally to score points in the manufacturers' championship."