Thierry Boutsen has announced his intention to quit racing, after retiring from the Le Mans 24 Hours in spectacular fashion on Sunday.


The Belgian crashed out of the sportscar classic after contact with a slower car in the early hours of Sunday morning, but insists that he was contemplating an end to his career even before the race.


"I have been considering everything for some time, and have now decided that [Le Mans] was my last race," he said, "I have now retired from motorsport, and will focus on my family and aviation business."


Boutsen, a former Arrows, Benetton, Williams, Ligier and Jordan F1 driver turned touring and sportscar pilot, is thought to have cracked vertebrae in the accident, which cost him - and Toyota - the chance of Le Mans victory, but paid tribute to the strength of the car and those who helped him at the scene of the crash.


"It was an enormous accident. I was hit at high speed from the rear corner, and sent into the barriers," he revealed from a Paris hospital, "I feel a little sore, but generally okay. I'm thankful to the team - and designer Andre de Cortanze - that the car was built so strongly, and that it did its job of protecting me. I'm also very grateful to all the circuit personnel, and the doctors, who attended to me at the accident scene - their care ensured that my injuries were not aggravated."