Peugeot's Richard Burns will miss this weekend's Wales Rally Great Britain, after being hospitalised yesterday [Sunday] evening.

Burns, who was one of four contenders still in with a shout of winning the drivers' title, will now have to watch from the sidelines, as Sebastien Loeb, Carlos Sainz, and Petter Solberg battle it out to become the 2003 FIA World Rally champion.

A statement from Peugeot explained:

"Richard was hospitalised yesterday evening, after fainting.

"Doctors will give an update today on their diagnosis and the seriousness of his state of health.

"From now on they have already declared that he will not be authorized to recce and to enter the Network Q Rally of Great Britain, which will take place this weekend.

"The entire Peugeot Sport Team express its solidarity and wishes Richard a prompt recovery.

"Due to this case of 'force majeure', Peugeot Sport has asked the FIA [the sports governing body], on the basis of article 5.1.4 of the General Prescriptions and Article 2.3 of the Regulations of the World Rally Championship, to authorize the crew Freddy Loix - Sven Smeets to replace the crew Richard Burns - Robert Reid."

Loix, who had drove for Hyundai this season prior to the disputes between the Korean marque and Motor Sports Developments [MSD], signed to contest the 2004 season with Peugeot back in August.

 

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