Two times CART champion Alex Zanardi has been showing that racing is still his life despite the horrific injuries he suffered at Germany's Lausitzring last year which left the CART and F1 star near death and without his lower limbs.

Despite this Zanardi has confounded the medical establishment with his dedication to getting himself back to leading a normal life, and for Zanardi a normal life is one that involves motorsport.

Zanardi was at the Bologna Motor Show and took part in a Race of Champions karting event. Not only did the Italian take part however, and against the like of former F1 pilot Sterano Modena, superbike star Troy Corser, and up and coming kart stars, he was also set for victory until a late spin.

Just fifteen months ago in the weekend following September the eleventh, Zanardi had been leading and looked set to take the victory at the German Lausitzring circuit, which was then part of the CART campaign.

Zanardi had pitted and was returning to the track when his car pitched sideways and was collected by Alex Tagliani's Reynard-Ford. Zanardi's legs were ripped from him, and it looked like the likeable Italian's career, if not life would end that day.

Zanardi however had other ideas. According to reports Zanardi was near death some three times after the accident, but despite this Zanardi is still the same man, with the same enthusiasm for motorsport.

Britain's News of the World newspaper quotes Zanardi on his return racing in the kart event. "It was an amazing moment for me," Zanardi tells the paper.

Zanardi has always been a popular figure, and nothing has changed. "To have so many people cheering me and to feel all that affection was very emotional. I can only say 'thank you' to all the fans for their support.

"When I climbed into my race suit again and zipped it up, I saw myself in the mirror. That was an intense moment. Luckily I was alone so I could really enjoy it.It was great to see my entire body in the mirror. Then climbing into the kart was just incredible."

Zanardi nearly took the win in the kart race - quite some achievement to say the least - but despite missing out on the win Zanardi was overwhelmed to rturn to the sport he loves. "I'm not disappointed I didn't win," he said, "just extremely happy to be there."

Zanardi has displayed remarkable courage in his fight to walk and now race again, and his doctor, Dr Claudio Costa, despite his proximity to the star and knowledge of his progress, said after the race "It is amazing to see him driving again."