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Sunday, 28 October, 2001, 16:20 GMT
Schumi returns to kart roots
Michael Schumacher in action
Schumacher: Still has what it takes in kart racing
Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher displayed his brilliant all-round driving skills when he finished second in a round of the kart world championship.

Schumacher, who grew up racing karts, lost two kilos to prepare for the race in his home town of Kerpen.

And it almost paid dividends, but he was beaten by defending world champion, 19-year-old Vitantonio Liuzzi, who took overall victory.

Over 5000 fans turned up to see the Ferrari driver, who finished in 16th place in the first heat after spinning out in the 15th of the 23-lap race at a hairpin bend.


"Watching him here reminded me of how it all started 12 years ago"
Willi Weber
Schumacher's manager

But he soon climbed to third on the second heat, where he maintained his position until the chequered flag.

And he was promoted to second when one of his rivals was disqualified, finishing 56.365 seconds behind Italian Liuzzi.

Schumacher, who had set the fastest time in Friday's free practice, admitted returning to his roots had been fun.

"To do this all again was a big challenge," Schumacher said.

"It is my passion and I have often said what I love about it - the duel, the competition, the fight of wheel against wheel.

"I have dreamt of taking part in a real, international kart race again for a long time, although I know I can only come off badly.

"Everyone expects me to win. If I lose, I might look like an idiot. But that doesn't interest me."

Happy return

The German's love for motor racing dates back to the times when he used to race karts on the Kerpen track with younger brother Ralf.

The Schumacher's father, Rolf, was the groundsman there and their mother sold sausages on race days.

"It's nice to see him coming back to his roots," said the Schumacher brothers' manager Willi Weber.

Maximilan Goetz, the only other German driver in the race, paid tribute to Schumacher's behaviour.

"It's unbelievable how normal he was with all of us, like a real mate," he said.

But the happiest of all Schumacher's fans this weekend was probably his own mother, Elisabeth.

"It was great to have breakfast with him again," she said.

See also:

27 Oct 01 |  Formula One
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24 Oct 01 |  Formula One
Toyota offer test to Aussie
23 Oct 01 |  Formula One
F1 fans to pay more
27 Oct 01 |  Motorsport
Moreno snatches pole
25 Oct 01 |  Motorsport
Sainz stays with Ford
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