From AP- MILAN Ã¢â‚¬â€ Former Formula One driver Alex Zanardi, who lost both legs in a car accident, intends to compete for a place on Italy’s cycling team at the 2012 Paralympics in London.
Zanardi lost both legs in a crash while competing at a Champ Car race at the Lausitzring in Germany in 2001, but returned to racing in 2003. Since then, he has competed in the European and the World Touring Car Championship each season.
Zanardi also took up hand cycling and finished 14th in last week’s individual time trial at the Para-Cycling Road World Championship in Bogogno, Italy, where he finished 4 minutes, 45 seconds behind Oz Sanchez of the United States, who won gold at the Beijing Paralympics.
“My honest objective is to be at the level of the best Italian bikers, waiting for a dream that could come true in London in 2012,” Zanardi said.
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The 42-year-old Zanardi made his hand-bike debut at the New York City Marathon in 2007, where he finished fourth. He has also written an autobiography titled: My Sweetest Victory : A Memoir of Racing Success, Adversity, and Courage.
Zanardi was leading the race in 2001 with only 13 laps left when he was struck by another car at over 200mph. Only a year later, he returned to the Lausitz track in a specially built racecar with throttle controls on the steering wheel. He completed the last 13 laps from the race that almost killed him, reaching speeds over 190 mph.