The past 13 months have been some of the toughest of racing driver David Clark's life, but the erstwhile V8 Supercar pilot is about to embark on the comeback trail.

The incident which claimed the life of Mark Porter at Mount Panorama last October also left 29-year old Clark fighting for survival in a Sydney hospital. A week in the intensive care unit was followed by six weeks in traction to help mend a broken pelvis, while two operations, a knee reconstruction and months of intense physiotherapy and rehabilitation followed before the Adelaide native could even think about resurrecting his career.

That, however, is where he is now and, this weekend, he will go back to where it started, as he gets behind the wheel to compete in the South Australian Karting Championships at the Bolivar Raceway.

"The past twelve months have been extremely tough, not only on me but also on my family," Clark admitted, "There isn't a day when I don't wake up and think to myself how lucky I am to be here with my wife and three children. However, despite these thoughts, I still have the urge for speed and I want to try and get back to the pinnacle of Australian motorsport, in a V8 Supercar.

"To start this process, I need to get myself back in shape and prove to people that I have still got what it takes to be a competitor, both mentally and physically, and that I'm able to race at the top level."

Clark cut his teeth on karting circuits across Australia, claiming four national titles throughout the mid-nineties. He also represented Australia in the World Karting Championships on three occasions, taking a best finish of ninth place in 1993, before moving into the Australian Formula Ford Championship and 2002 British F3 series.
Although his career appeared to falter after that, he was plucked from the motorsport wilderness at the start of 2006 when fledgling V8 Supercar team Optima Sport took a punt on his ability.

Clark showed some impressive speed through his debut year in the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series, recording a race win and qualifying third fastest at one round, before everything was cut short by the Bathurst tragedy. Optima Sport is currently in the process of building a car to contest the 2008 Fujitsu Series, but Clark accepts that his involvement in the team is not guaranteed.

"For sure, I'd like to be a part of Optima Sport when it returns to the track, but it all comes down to letting the right people know that I'm still the same driver and person I was before the accident - which starts this weekend in a go-kart," he admitted, "I'm confident within myself that I can do the job, but I've got to prove that to everyone else. I also need to get some sponsors together to help me restart my career as getting a drive is more than just talent these days. Money is a big part of it."

Clark will be competing in one of the toughest categories in Australian karting, 100cc Clubman Light, racing against some of the best drivers in the country, including current Australian champion James Sera, Western Australian Steven Scoble, New South Wales driver Jason Burns and local hotshots Matthew Panella and Chris Fathers.