Former F1, CART and WTCC driver Alessandro Zanardi is aiming to compete in the hand cycling events at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.

Not only is he aiming to compete, he’s aiming to win a medal!

And he’s in good form to do it, after backing up his Venice Marathon win last year with another victory in last weekend’s Rome Marathon. The double-amputee won the event in a time of 1h15m53s, a full two minutes clear of his nearest rival!

Speaking with Gazzetta dello Sport, Zanardi was clearly ecstatic about the result and believes he is in the frame for a medal at the next Paralympic Games.

Zanardi Paralympics

"Racing here has been very exciting, a lot more than when I used to wait in a car for the lights to start a motor race – maybe because it had been habit,” he said.

"To find myself among many people cheering me and pushing me on is completely different – you feel the warmth and the pleasure of the support right on your skin, you live it moment by moment."

Since retiring from the World Touring Car Championship at the end of last season, Zanardi has increased his hand cycling activities.

"I train practically every day for at least 60km and I’ve even done a 120km run to verify my stamina. The end result obtained here in Rome is excellent – it could have been better, but the route isn’t easy and I faced some winds towards the end.

"I have an objective and I won’t deny it. I hope to go to London for the 2012 Paralympic Games and fight for the podium."

We certainly hope that Alex is able to achieve this aim! Good luck!

[Image via USA Today]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.