Former Champ Car king and Formula 1 driver Alex Zanardi has set his sights on scoring a point on his debut in the European Touring Car Championship at Monza today (Sunday)
The Italian, who lost both his legs in a crash during the EuroSpeedway Lausitz CART race in 2001, qualified 11th for his racing comeback at Monza yesterday. He has set a target of finishing eighth in today's opening race.
"I am partially happy," he said. "On my last lap I missed a gear a couple of times at reasonably high speed out of the Ascari chicane. This definitely cost me a couple of tenths, which could have placed me a little better on the grid. I did the lap time on my own, not in a slipstream, which helps here. These are really the things that come with experience and the feeling for the car."
Zanardi's weekend got off to a bad start when he was forced to miss the opening practice session due to a problem with his steering wheel-mounted clutch.
"We missed the first session, which did not help at all," he said. "From the one free practice we did and qualifying we were able to make an improvement, which was probably mainly on my side with my driving.
"For me it is more a question of getting on the rhythm, and making a clean lap without any mistakes with the gears or spinning off. I am happy I kept it out of trouble in a day where other people with more experience did not. I hope I can drive a clean race and bring it home in the first round in eighth, which is my goal."
Volvo gave the World Touring Car Championship a major boost when it announced it would enter the series, but its ambitions don't stop there. JACK COZENS examines its programme, the S60 and what its arrival means for the WTCC
The 2012 World Touring Car champion says he never had the money to race cars. Yet 2015 is his 11th season in the WTCC. He talks STUART CODLING through his journey from motorsport fan to paid professional - for little more than £100,000