2013 has seen Robert Kubica write another chapter of his extraordinary racing story…
Robert Kubica had to have a radical re-think of his career after suffering life-threatening injuries at a small rally in northern Italy, which he was contesting for fun at the beginning of 2011. Just a few days before his Skoda Fabia S2000 speared off the road and into a crash barrier, trapping him in the car for an hour and partially severing his right arm, Kubica had set the fastest time in the pre-season Formula One test at Valencia for Lotus Renault, underlining his status as a championship challenger.
After a long period of recuperation, it’s another championship that he has eventually won: this time in a rally car, which has been especially adapted to cater for his mobility. But the 28-year-old says that he hasn’t closed the door on a return to racing in the future. “I’m happy but there’s still a long way to go for me and my recovery,” he said. “I used this year as a recovery year and to get experience in case my goal will not happen, because I have made no secret that I want to come back to single-seaters one day.”
Then – 2005 Formula Renault 3.5 Series champion
The talented Pole, destined for stardom from an early age, won his very first racing championship in 2005: the inaugural Formula Renault 3.5 Series season. Driving for the Epsilon Euskadi team, the then 20-year-old Kubica won four out of 17 races to clinch the title by 38 points. Having formed part of Renault’s driver development programme, Kubica was then placed with BMW-Sauber in Formula One from 2006 onwards, claiming his first win in 2008. Interestingly, Kubica’s enormous crash at the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix paved the way for Sebastian Vettel to make his F1 debut, replacing Kubica at the United States Grand Prix.
Now – 2013 WRC2 champion, Citroen DS3 Regional Rally Car
Kubica has just won the WRC2 championship with class victory and ninth overall on the Catalunya Rally in Spain: his first rally title since converting to the sport full time, following his injuries. After being linked with Renault for many years, it was at the wheel of another French car – a Citroen DS3 RRC – that Kubica claimed his first rally championship, having won five events this year. The WRC2 class is just one step below the main WRC category, which Kubica is expected to graduate to next year. As a result, he’s now going to be drafted into the Citroen factory team for the season-closing Rally GB.
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