Zanardi wanted to complete the race he never finished
Alex Zanardi turned his back on motor racing on Sunday with an emotionally charged
final drive around the German track where he lost both his legs in a crash two years ago.
The Italian sped around the EuroSpeedway Lausitz oval in a specially-designed car equipped with hand controls before the start of the German 500 Cart race.
Zanardi symbolically completed the 13 laps which remained in the race when he had his near-fatal accident in a Cart event at the same circuit in 2001.
The two-times Cart champion, who has said that he will now stay away from racing cars, drove at an average speed of 313 kph during his fastest lap.
"I have overcome fear," said Zanardi, who has artificial legs and needs crutches to walk.
"But I wanted to enjoy one last time that incredible feeling you have when you drive a racing car at high speed.
"It was fun, but that was it for me as a motor racing driver. I love my family and I don't want to lose them."