Since fainting at the wheel of his road car on Sunday November 2, Richard Burns has been undergoing tests in hospital to determine the cause of his health problems. These have been concluded and doctors have confirmed Burns has an 'Astrocytoma' - a form of brain tumour.

As a result, the Brit will now undergo a course of radiotherapy treatment - which the doctors are confident will prove successful.

However, they have confirmed that Burns will be unable to compete in the 2004 FIA World Rally Championship, in which he was scheduled to return from Peugeot to the Prodrive run Subaru team

"I would really like to thank everyone for their continued support - it means a lot to me," began Burns in a statement released today. "My fans, the Peugeot WRC team and also everyone at Prodrive and Subaru have all been tremendous.

"The doctors have advised that I am unable to get back in a rally car for the 2004 FIA WRC Championship and I have to accept that. I'm obviously extremely disappointed but I am feeling very positive and I am determined to focus all of my efforts on getting back to full fitness as soon as I can," he added.

Burns has asked that people respect his and his family's privacy in what has been, and will continue to be, a difficult period.

Additional information will be given once the former world champion has completed the course of treatment.