Ex-F1 driver Zanardi wins Paralympic gold

  • AFP, London
  • |
  • Updated: Sep 06, 2012 00:26 IST

Former Formula One driver Alessandro Zanardi on Wednesday won again at a motor racing circuit by taking Paralympic gold in the men's individual H4 (hand-cycle) time-trial.

The 45-year-old Italian's time of 24min 50.22sec over the 16km course was good enough to clinch victory from Norbert Mosandl of Germany, who finished 27sec behind, and US rider Oscar Sanchez, who was 45sec back.

Zanardi, a former F1 pilot for Minardi and Lotus who also drove in Indy and touring car races, was critically injured and had to have both legs amputated after a horror smash in 2001.

He battled back into sport, even competing in a touring car race at Brands Hatch in a specially-adapted car with hand controls before turning his attention to hand-cycling. Last year, he won the category at the New York Marathon.

His average speed on Wednesday -- 38.652 kilometres (24.017 miles) per hour -- was considerably less than his previous best at the fabled circuit in the county of Kent, southeast England.

But it was one of the highlights of a day that saw Britain's Sarah Storey clinch her third gold medal of the Games, taking the Paralympic women's individual C5 time-trial title after double success on the track.

Ma to make F1 first for China

Monza: Ma Qing Hua will become the first Chinese driver to take part in a Formula One grand prix weekend when he replaces Indian Narain Karthikeyan at the wheel of an HRT in free practice at Monza on Friday.

HRT said on Wednesday the Shanghai-born 24-year-old will take part in the morning session at the Italian GP, the final European round of the season, and then hand the car back to Karthikeyan who will race on Sunday.

 

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