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Rally great Ogier and co-driver Landais hospitalized in Poland after crash

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Rally great Ogier and co-driver Landais hospitalized in Poland after crash
News

News

Rally great Ogier and co-driver Landais hospitalized in Poland after crash

2024-06-25 23:10 Last Updated At:23:20

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Eight-time world rally champion Sébastien Ogier and co-driver Vincent Landais were undergoing hospital medical tests after they crashed in Poland on Tuesday while preparing for this week’s race. There were no reports of serious injuries.

“Nothing serious happened,” said Andrzej Borowczyk, the Rally Poland director for media contacts.

Przemyslaw Prais, a spokesman for the hospital in Olsztyn, where Ogier was taken, only said he was undergoing tests and refused any details.

Ogier’s Toyota Gazoo Racing team said in a statement the French crew was “involved in a road accident during reconnaissance for Rally Poland and have been taken for medical checks.”

A police spokesman in Olsztyn, Tomasz Markowski, said Toyota and Ford cars were involved near the northeast village of Wlosty, and four people were taken to hospital. The drivers were airlifted to hospitals and the passengers were taken by ambulances, Markowski added.

Local police spokeswoman Marta Domańska said the crash occurred on raised terrain on a narrow, one-lane dirt road which was not closed to traffic. In the Ford were a 69-year-old man and a 67-year-old woman. All complained of back pain after the crash, she said.

Ogier was taken to a hospital in Olsztyn, the other driver to Slupsk, while Landais and the other passenger were taken to Gizycko hospital. Domańska said no official rally route tests were taking place there at the time.

Photos posted by Olsztyn police showed a white Toyota and a dark Ford with their fronts damaged.

The four-day Rally Poland is due to start on Thursday in a rural area not far from the border with Russia's Kaliningrad exclave.

The 40-year-old Ogier is one of the greatest rally drivers in history. He won six straight world titles from 2013-18. His most recent was in 2021.

Ogier has won 60 rallies, second all-time to countryman Sebastien Loeb's 80.

Driving part-time in the world rally championship this year, he won the Croatia Rally in April and the Portugal Rally in May. Poland is hosting its first WRC event in seven years, and Ogier has won here twice.

AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing

Police officers are investigating the site of a crash between the white Toyota of eight-time world rally champion Sebastien Ogier and co-driver Vincent Landais, left, and a local resident's Ford, right, that collided head-on on a local road near the village of Wlosty, near Goldap in northeastern Poland, Tuesday, June 25, 2024, while the Ogier and Landais were on a reconnaissance run ahead of this week's Rally Poland. Ogier and the Ford's driver were airlifted to hospital while Landais and the Ford's female passenger were taken by ambulances. (Police Office in Goldap via AP Photo)

Police officers are investigating the site of a crash between the white Toyota of eight-time world rally champion Sebastien Ogier and co-driver Vincent Landais, left, and a local resident's Ford, right, that collided head-on on a local road near the village of Wlosty, near Goldap in northeastern Poland, Tuesday, June 25, 2024, while the Ogier and Landais were on a reconnaissance run ahead of this week's Rally Poland. Ogier and the Ford's driver were airlifted to hospital while Landais and the Ford's female passenger were taken by ambulances. (Police Office in Goldap via AP Photo)

FILE - Sebastien Ogier of France steers his Toyota Yaris WRC car during the WRC Acropolis Rally at the stage of Aghii Theodori, west of Athens, on Sept. 10, 2021. The eight-time world rally champion Sébastien Ogier and his co-driver Vincent Landais have been hospitalised after beeing involved in a crash in Poland while preparing for this week’s World Rally Championship event there, Polish police and the Toyota team said Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

FILE - Sebastien Ogier of France steers his Toyota Yaris WRC car during the WRC Acropolis Rally at the stage of Aghii Theodori, west of Athens, on Sept. 10, 2021. The eight-time world rally champion Sébastien Ogier and his co-driver Vincent Landais have been hospitalised after beeing involved in a crash in Poland while preparing for this week’s World Rally Championship event there, Polish police and the Toyota team said Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

FILE - World Rally Champions Sébastien Ogier poses as he arrive at the FIA Prize Giving ceremony in Paris, France, on Dec. 16, 2021. The eight-time world rally champion Sébastien Ogier and his co-driver Vincent Landais have been hospitalised after beeing involved in a crash in Poland while preparing for this week’s World Rally Championship event there, Polish police and the Toyota team said Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

FILE - World Rally Champions Sébastien Ogier poses as he arrive at the FIA Prize Giving ceremony in Paris, France, on Dec. 16, 2021. The eight-time world rally champion Sébastien Ogier and his co-driver Vincent Landais have been hospitalised after beeing involved in a crash in Poland while preparing for this week’s World Rally Championship event there, Polish police and the Toyota team said Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ignoring the political chaos surrounding President Joe Biden’s decision to end his reelection campaign, Secretary of State Antony Blinken will head to Asia this week on a long-planned eight-day trip aimed at shoring up ties with Indo-Pacific allies and partners but with the priority of assuring them that the United States remains committed to the region.

The State Department announced Monday that Blinken, a longtime close aide to Biden dating from the president’s days in the Senate, will travel to Vietnam, Laos, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore and Mongolia for a series of international and bilateral meetings. Those will include discussions in Laos with his Chinese counterpart and strategic and security talks in Tokyo and Manila also involving Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

The trip had been scheduled well before Biden’s announcement Sunday that he was withdrawing from the presidential race. State Department officials said there was no discussion of canceling or postponing the trip.

In fact, they said Blinken’s attendance was all the more important to show that the changing political landscape in the U.S. would not affect the trajectory of American foreign policy, at least while Biden is president.

Numerous countries in Asia and elsewhere have expressed concerns about the implications of former President Donald Trump returning to the White House in January. Trump has cast doubt on the usefulness of U.S. alliances around the world and suggested during his first term in office that the American military presence in Japan and South Korea should be reduced or eliminated.

His first stop is in Vietnam to attend the funeral of Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party and the country’s most powerful politician.

In Laos, Blinken will attend the annual meeting of Southeast Asian foreign ministers as well as a larger grouping that brings in senior diplomats from not only the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations but also China, Russia, India, and often North Korea.

Blinken said Friday that he would meet in Laos with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The two have had a contentious but respectful relationship as ties between Washington and Beijing have frayed over security, trade and human rights issues, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the South China Sea.

Later, Blinken and Austin will hold talks with their Japanese and Filipino counterparts. In Tokyo, the U.S. officials will also meet with the South Korean and Australian foreign and defense ministers to discuss nuclear nonproliferation.

In Singapore, Blinken will meet with the city-state’s relatively new leadership to go over details of the long-standing U.S.-Singapore strategic partnership. In Mongolia, he plans similar discussions when he wraps his Asia trip on Aug. 1.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to the press after a bilateral meeting with Panamanian Foreign Minister Javier Martinez Acha at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to the press after a bilateral meeting with Panamanian Foreign Minister Javier Martinez Acha at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

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