From Andrew Dunwoody [ 23/09/2002 ].
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Mitsubishi driver Alister McRae, recently withdrawn from San Remo by the team due to an accident whilst on his mountain bike, will not compete in the forthcoming Rally of New Zealand. Although not a serious injury, Alister bruised his liver in the fall and has been advised by the Team Surgeon, Miss Julie Doughty, to take complete rest for the next two weeks and shouldn't drive a rally car for at least a month. Jani Paasonen and co-driver Arto Kapanen will take his place.
"Recovery shouldn't be a problem though, as long as I take it completely easy for a few weeks. It's a shame to miss New Zealand as it is my favourite event but I hope to be back in the car by Australia."
Team Director, John Easton said; "I know Alister will be disappointed not to be competing in New Zealand, as it is an event that he enjoys and excels on. However, his health is obviously the most important thing and the team wishes him well for a quick recovery."