Practice began for the RallyCross part of the X Games Los Angeles on Friday, which will feature Sunday eliminations on a rollicking course near Staples Center at LA Live in downtown.
Friday's practice was held to acquaint drivers with the double-ramped open jump adjacent to their garage area so that all would feel comfortable for Saturday practice and Sunday's races.
It was all going fairly smoothly with only a few nose-hits on the landing ramp when Finn Toomas "Topi" Heikkinen, 21, got it all wrong in his Ford Fiesta. Coming a bit slow to the very short approach, he landed short and awkwardly on the front end, then rotated on to the side and eventually sank the Fiesta into the gully between the two metal ramps.
There was debris everywhere on the landing ramp and Heikkinen was taken to hospital after he crawled out. The car is a write-off and Heikkinen suffered a broken left ankle when he tried to make the 50-foot gap.
Following the accident, RallyCross practice was canceled as emergency crews put out a fire that started in the car shortly after the driver crawled out. Heikkinen was the 2010 Finnish RallyCross championship.
A CT scan showed no injuries to Heikkinen's head, chest, abdomen, back or pelvis; he is scheduled for surgery Friday night on his left ankle injury. All of us at Motor Authority wish Heikkinen a speedy recovery from his injuries.