Heikkinen broke his left ankle in 15 places after his car slammed into a ramp, but incredibly he was driving again just three months later. The resulting damage to his ankle though meant that several further operations were needed – and the reigning Global Rallycross champion had the last one at home in Joensuu, Finland, just over a week ago.

Surgeons at the Ite Hospital removed several pieces of loose cartilage and realigned a number of bone fragments in order to increase his mobility. They predicted that he should be back on his feet by Christmas – but in actual fact Topi is already up and walking. And he’s already making a few plans for the holiday period.

”Over Christmas I’ll get back into driving again; we’ll be out in my own rally car just for fun – and then of course we’ll be back to competition soon. Before then I’ll be riding my snowmobile, which is what we always do over Christmas, so I think it’s going to be a really good time! The operation went really well and my recovery is actually ahead of schedule, so that’s very good news. Already I’m walking and it won’t be long before I’m driving again. I feel really good and I can’t wait for the season to start.”

Topi is currently putting the finishing touches to his 2014 rallycross programme, which should be announced shortly. Before then, he is hoping to take part in a few winter races to keep himself match fit.

”I’m keeping myself busy,” added Topi. ”There’s a few motorsport activities I’m going to be doing over the winter before our rallycross season starts, and that’s the best way to recover from the operation and also enjoy myself at the same time. In the meantime, happy Christmas to everyone.”

With his ankle finally fully fixed, there’s going to be no stopping Heikkinen in 2014…