2001 World Rally champion, Richard Burns has revealed that although it has been 'very, very tough' he is now 'getting physically and mentally much stronger' following treatment for a brain tumour.

Burns, who was released from hospital at the end of June, told his personal website - www.richardburns.com - that he has had to commit 100 per cent to beating his illness, but that he has really appreciated the support from all his family, friends and fans.

"As most of you know a year ago I was taken ill on the way to Rally GB and shortly afterwards I was diagnosed with a brain tumour," he told www.richardburns.com.

"This was a total shock. I had been 100 per cent committed to trying to win the WRC and suddenly, nothing was more important than my health and I had to commit 100 per cent to beating my illness."

The Englishman, who due to drive alongside Petter Solberg at Subaru this year, has been receiving treatment since around January.

"I don't mind admitting it has been really, really tough," he added, "but I have remained positive and as happy as I can throughout.

"The support I have had from my doctors, family and friends has been fantastic. Also I want to thank all the people who have sent me their good wishes - it really helps to know that my fans are still rooting for me and that I'm not forgotten!

"I have been following the WRC on the television and I want to add my congratulations to Seb [Loeb] for winning the Championship this year. He is a very focussed driver and deserves this win.

"Also I would like to wish Carlos [Sainz] a happy retirement, - he has been a dedicated and passionate rally driver throughout his years and the sport will miss him.

"My treatment has been very intensive but I am now getting physically and mentally much stronger.

"It is still too soon to think about what the future holds - I am just concentrating on trying to get back to a normal life.

"The doctors still need to keep a close eye on me but, when they give me the OK to travel, I am looking forward to coming to see a rally sometime soon... maybe I will see you there!"

People wishing to send Richard any messages of support should refer to his website.