WRC spectators injured in Al-Attiyah crash in France

Two spectators were injured when Nasser Al-Attiyah crashed his Citroen at the Rallye de France Alsace on Saturday morning.

The Qatari driver went off the road on the day's second stage, Pays d'Ormont.

Citroen reported that two spectators were injured, suffering a broken arm and broken leg respectively. The team and Al-Attiyah expressed their sympathy.

Al-Attiyah and co-driver Giovanni Bernacchini were not injured.

The previous stage had seen additional drama when Petter Solberg crashed his Ford out of fourth place and demolished an electricity pole, causing a power cut in a nearby village. Solberg, co-driver Chris Patterson and the spectators in the vicinity were all unhurt.

The Norwegian was chasing down Mikko Hirvonen's Citroen for third when he slid off in a vineyard on the opening stage, slewed back over the course and then hit the pole, which collapsed but thankfully missed the car and watching fans.

Sebastien Loeb is half a minute clear in France after the morning loop of stages.

Jari-Matti Latvala started the day 13 seconds behind Loeb's Citroen in the sister Ford, but that gap increased when he ran wide into a ditch on SS10, Pays d'Ormont.

Latvala trimmed a few seconds back by winning the following Pays de la Haute Bruche stage, leaving the gap at exactly 30s.

The Klevener stage 12, the scheduled final stage of the loop, was cancelled due to spectator overcrowding.

Latvala's mistake briefly gave Hirvonen a sniff of second, but they are now 19s apart after the Ford man regained his composure.

Although Thierry Neuville took fourth place from Dani Sordo during the morning, that position could be in doubt, with the Belgian believing he is set for a penalty for checking in late at a time control.

Mads Ostberg is now right behind the Citroen and Mini too, with fourth to sixth places covered by just 2.1s.

Debutant star Sebastien Chardonnet lost his top-10 place when he stopped to help at the scene of Al-Attiyah's stage 10 accident.

Citroen hopes Chardonnet will be given an adjusted time and returned to what would now be ninth place.

There will be four afternoon stages and a further six on Sunday.