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Ex-F1 driver wins Paralympic gold

2012-09-06 08:01

THEN AND NOW: F1 fans will probably best remember former pilot Alex Zanardi (shown inset, clutching his Paralympic gold medal) in his previous sporting life - in action for Williams at the 1999 Japanese Grand Prix.

Leon Neal

BRANDS HATCH, United Kingdom - Former Formula 1 driver Alessandro Zanardi has won again at a motor racing circuit by taking 2012 Paralympic gold in the men's individual H4 (hand-cycle) time-trial.

The 45-year-old Italian's time of 24min 50.22 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.

HORROR CRASH


Zanardi, who drove in F1 for Minardi and Lotus and in IndyCar and Touring Car races, was critically injured and lost his legs in 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. In 2011 he won the category at the New York Marathon.

His average speed on Wednesday - 38.652km/h - was considerably less than his previous best at the fabled circuit in the county of Kent, south-east England at the height of his F1 career.

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