It may only have been a four-stage provincial event, but winning is winning and Robert Kubica underlined that he has lost little of his natural motorsport talent by triumphing on Sunday's Ronde Gomitolo di Lana rally.
While the F1 circus was entertaining thousands in Monza's royal park, former BMW Sauber and Lotus Renault driver Kubica was taking his first steps back onto the motorsport stage, driving a Subaru Impreza on the local event as he continued his recuperation, not only from the life-threatening injuries he suffered on his last competitive outing, on last year's Ronde di Andora rally, but also from the fall at home which re-broke his right leg during the winter.
The 27-year old Pole, who has admitted that he still hankers after a return to F1, but accepts that he will not be ready to do so in 2013 [see separate story
], claimed the best time in all four tests to win the event by more than a minute from his nearest rival.
However, reports from the rally also confirmed just how limited Kubica's mobility remains, with his injured right arm particularly affected. According to Brazil's Agencia Estado
, while he was obviously able to drive the car, a lot of what he did outside of the cockpit - including holding his trophy and champagne - had to be done with his left arm.