Injured Polish F1 star Kubica to return to racing in rallying championship

    Robert Kubica is battling back to full fitness after sustaining horrific injuries in a rallying crash in 2011.

    Story highlights

    • Robert Kubica to drive in WRC2 rally championship this season
    • Polish F1 star will take the wheel of specially adapted Citroen
    • Kubica suffered serious hand injuries in a rally crash in Italy in 2011
    • He won the Canadian Grand Prix in 2008 for Sauber
    Polish Formula One star Robert Kubica will be driving in a supporting category of the world rallying championship this season as he continues his recovery from the serious injuries he sustained in a crash in Italy two years ago.
    The accident in February 2011, during a rallying competition in Italy, left Kubica with limited use of his right hand and with doubts about his future at the highest level of motor sport.
    The 28-year-old will drive a Citroen DS3 RRC in the seven-round WRC 2 Championship, as well as selected events in Europe.
    Kubica took the wheel in national rally championship events towards the end of last year, including two for Citroen, and will be driving with a specially adapted gearbox to compensate for his hand injury.
    "I can't wait to start racing, but I haven't set myself any specific target. I still have a lot to learn in rallying and to improve I will need to rack up the miles on the stages," he told world rallying's official website.
    "I weighed up the different options before deciding on this program," said the Krakow-born driver. "I kept in touch with Citroen Racing and both sides were keen to continue working together. I'm really pleased now to be able to return to top-level racing."
    Kubica's season will get underway at the Rally Islas Canarias -- the third round of the FIA European Rally Championship later this month -- before he opens his campaign in the WRC 2 at April's Rally de Portugal.
    Citroen team principal Yves Matton said Kubica deserved to succeed in his comeback because of his fighting spirit.
    "Robert's determination is an example to us all and we are proud to associate Citroen Racing's image with such a resolutely positive individual," he added.
    Kubica was considered one of the most promising drivers in F1 before his crash, winning the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix with Sauber before switching to Lotus Renault for the 2010 season.
    He finished eighth in the title race and was preparing for the 2011 season when taking part in the Ronde de Andorra rally in Italy in a private capacity he lost control of his Skoda Fabia, crashing into a guard rail.
    He spent some time in an induced coma and as well as his horrific hand injury suffered fractures to his right elbow, shoulder and leg.
    Recovery was painstaking, but he confirmed in November 2011 that he would not be able to take his place in the Lotus Renault team for the 2012 season.
    An accident near his Italian home in early 2012, where he re-broke his right leg, was also a setback, but Kubica has stuck doggedly to his rehabilitation program.