April 18, 2024

Hellas Rally Day 7: Not The Ending We Hoped For Andrew Houlihan

Jacopo Cerutti - Hellas Rally Greece 2018
Jacopo Cerutti has won the 2018 Hellas Rally in Greece. (Photo: AP PhotoSport)

The 2018 Hellas Rally in Greece has ended in a way Australian rider Andrew Houlihan had never wished for.

Andrew has crashed on the final day and is currently in hospital in Greece. His injuries are still being assessed, but he appears to have multiple broken ribs and multiple fractures in his shoulder blade.

Andrew’s wife Katie is with him and just posted this statement through Facebook..

“Not the way we wanted to finish up the Hellas Rally.”

“Andrew left at 10.27am this morning for the final stage of the rally. After riding the liaison to the last special stage he left and only got 1km in when he took a wrong turn and had to turn around.”

“While making his way back he collided with another bike coming the other way.”

(UPDATE 2nd June 2018: Initial reports said Andrew was 1km into the special stage when he took a wrong turn, and while making his way back he collided with another bike coming the other way. But Andrew has just been told by a race official that he was in fact heading in the correct direction on the tight track, and it was the other rider who was going the wrong way! The two riders collided head on on a blind corner.)

“He and the other rider were ambulanced out of crash scene. He was taken to the local hospital in Pyros where they did x-rays and inserted a drainage tube into his right lung. So far he appears to have multiple broken ribs and multiple fractures in his shoulder blade.”

“We were the put into another ambulance for a 1.5hr road trip to Patras to get CT scans of his chest, I am actually sitting here posting as this is being done. “

“Once we are finished with the scan we will be put into another ambulance to go to another hospital for Neurological tests and a thorax specialist will check him out.”

“To Pablo (teammate) I can’t thank you enough for staying with Andrew the whole time and losing precious minutes of time, and to Hernan and Domingo for getting me where I needed to be.”

“I think it is going to be a long night here so I will keep you updated as we go.”

Any event of this nature takes a huge level of commitment, and both physical and mental strength. And these types of events have a high level of risk.

Despite the outcome, we congratulate Andrew on his achievement in simply being there and making it through to the final day – something that many competitors did not achieve.

Andrew – we wish you well and hope that your recovery is as speedy as you are on that bike.

Katie – our hearts are with you and our family offers you and your family any support we can give you.

Read Andrew’s story here:

Final results

The rally has been won by Italian rider Jacopo Cerutti (Husqvarna 450 FE), with a consolidated time of 20:18:48. The top 3 placings are:

  • Jacopo Cerutti – Italy (Husqvarna 450 FE) 20:18:48
  • Andrea Mancini – Italy (BETA 390 RR) 20:34:07
  • Marc Sola Terradellas – Spain (KTM 450) 20:58:27