|ESPN.com: 2012||[Print without images]|
Global RallyCross driver Toomas "Topi" Heikkinen plans to race in the season's fifth stop Sept. 29 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, his first appearance since his frightening crash into the face of the jump landing June 29 during practice at X Games Los Angeles.
Despite shattering his left ankle in 15 places, suffering internal injuries and damaging his urethra, the 21-year-old Finnish driver's confidence hasn't been affected.
"There is no question -- I plan to post the fastest time and take home the win," Heikkinen said in a release. "The crash was a minor setback, but I'm fully recovered now, and thanks to the support of my team at OMSE [Olsbergs Motor Sport Evolution] and my sponsor, Bluebeam Software, I am ready to get back on the track and show what this new car can do."
Heikkinen totaled his other car at X Games so he will be debuting a new 2012 OMSE Ford Fiesta in the GRC's second-to-last round of the season. The OMSE team built a new car, as seen in the below video, featuring a "600-horsepower Ford Duratech 2.0 liter engine with Garrett Turbo that will deliver 650 foot-pounds of torque at the wheels and is capable of going 0-60 in less than two seconds," according to a release. He is scheduled to test the new car Tuesday and Wednesday in Los Angeles.
With just eight points leaving him a distant 18th place in the standings after missing Round 4 July 14 in New Hampshire, Heikkinen won't contend for the overall title. But his aggressive driving style that had him black flagged in the final race at the season opener in Charlotte, N.C. should likely have an impact on how the championship contenders fare.
Heikkinen had surgery to insert a plate and seven pins to get his ankle to heal properly during his five-day stay in a Los Angeles hospital before he returned home to Joensuu, Finland, where he continued his recovery. He had the cast removed Aug. 6, his boot off in mid-August and started walking on his foot Sept. 3. He began physical therapy the same week.