Ford Martini driver Colin McRae has left hospital after undergoing a precautionary check-up following his accident this morning. The 33-year-old Scot, who crashed his Ford Focus RS World Rally Car on the 26.47km Rhondda while leading the rally, returned to the Felindre service park by team helicopter.

He then attended Swansea's Morrisston Hospital at the request of the rally organisers but left following a routine examination and returned to the team base in Cardiff. He has now flown back to Scotland with his family. Co-driver Nicky Grist suffered a bruised left elbow, but was otherwise unhurt.

Before leaving McRae said: "I'm very disappointed. It's the biggest disappointment of my career. I feel fine but I'm probably going to be a bit stiff tomorrow. When the car came to rest the vision in my left eye was a little blurred so I took the advice of the organisers' medical staff and went to hospital to have it checked out."

"The accident happened at the end of a very fast fifth and sixth gear section where the road went into a right and then a left bend. We had a cut marked in our pace notes for the left corner but I misheard the note and started to line up the car for a cut on the right. I realised the mistake and had enough time to rectify it. But the line didn't look as though it was going to be that bad so I stayed with it and was probably no more than 15 centimetres off the line I would normally have chosen."

"But on the inside of the bend there was a big hole and it caught the inside front wheel and flipped the car over. I could see what was going to happen as soon as we hit the hole but there was nothing I could do about it. The accident looks very violent from the in-car camera but it went on for a long time which took a lot of the energy out of it. It's not as bad as a sudden, severe stop."

"I feel terrible about it and I feel very sorry for the whole Ford team. Everyone has put in so much effort since 1999 with the aim of winning the championship but this can be a cruel sport."

"Richard (Burns) hasn't got a lot of pressure on him now and all we can hope is that he has some kind of problem. I'll be keeping a close eye on what's happening for the rest of the weekend," said McRae.