Blancpain champion Ide returns to racing after coma

Hal Ridge

The Belgian circuit racer suffered an accident at home last August and was found by his wife. He was placed into an artificial coma and spent five months in hospital in Belgium.

He posted a message on his social media at New Year thanking medical professionals for their support, and has now committed to racing in the European rallycross series that joins World Rallycross Championship at five rounds.

He made his international rallycross debut at the first Spa World RX event last year in an ex-EKS Audi S1, running alongside Mattias Ekstrom in the JC Raceteknik team.

He will remain with the Joel Christoffersson-run Swedish squad in 2020.

“I'm really looking forward to driving again,” said Ide. “My main goal is first and foremost to have fun, and to learn rallycross.

"As I progress, I will be able to expand my goals and set what I want to achieve on track. JC Raceteknik is a team with hard working people and a lot of experience, we have a good understanding with each other and I have a good feeling for the season.”

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Ide says a test with Ekstrom in 2016 gave him a taste for rallycross.

“In 2016 Mattias let me test a rallycross car, and I must say I was impressed. It was so much fun with a lot of adrenaline, I was addicted straight away. Then I did my first rallycross race with JC Raceteknik at Spa last year [where he finished 18th].

"Shortly after that, my accident happened. When I was in hospital, my goal was to stay healthy and be able to drive again.

"Three weeks ago, I got the ‘Okay’ from my doctors to start competing and I really think motor sport will be good for my recovery.

"I really want to thank everyone who has supported me during events, the accident and now during the road to recovery.

"The doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and other people who did everything for me - they made me live again. From my state seven months ago to racing at the first race in two months’ time, it's incredible.”

Ide will join fellow Supercar newcomer Ben-Philip Gundersen in the JC Raceteknik Euro RX line-up, while the squad confirmed last week that reigning European champion Robin Larsson will set up to World RX with a latest specification EKS-built S1 this year.