LOS ANGELES -- Rally driver Marcus Grönholm was injured in a crash during RallyCross practice on Saturday at the X Games L.A. and was transported to a nearby hospital. Grönholm was breathing but unconscious after the accident, according to X Games medical staff. Later Saturday he was awake and alert and underwent further testing.
On Sunday, attending doctors said Grönholm was conscious, alert and talking and had full limb mobility, according to a statement from his team, Marcus Grönholm Racing. Following his initial assessment, doctors confirmed Sunday morning that his condition had improved overnight following a night's sleep and rest, the team stated. Grönholm will remain in the hospital for ongoing observation and further tests, according to Marcus Grönholm Racing.
Grönholm cleared the jump and appeared to be setting up for the next turn but crashed into an exposed light post base, according to a witness on the scene. Practice resumed shortly thereafter.
The Finnish rider came into X Games 2012 as a favorite to win the RallyCross event on Sunday: Grönholm is the current leader on the 2012 Global RallyCross (GRC) tour after wins at the first two stops in Dallas and Charlotte, and won two medals, silver and bronze, at X Games in 2011. He's also a two-time World Rally Champion (2000, 2002) and has helped attract some of the top European drivers from the WRC to compete at X Games and on the GRC tour.
Saturday's accident marks the second serious crash in practice on the X Games RallyCross course this week; another Finnish driver, Toomas "Topi" Heikkinen, came up short on the jump in practice on Friday, smashing the front end of his car and fracturing his left ankle.
The RallyCross event airs on ESPN2 and ESPN3D from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday.