Ex-driver a winner at NYC Marathon

From great tragedy is coming great triumph for one former race car driver.

Alex Zanardi of Italy won the New York City Marathon’s handcycle division Sunday with a time of 1 hour, 13 minutes and 58 seconds.

The 45-year-old Zanardi’s victory came 10 years after he lost his legs in a horrific crash at the Lausitzring CART race for Indy cars.

Sunday, he overcame a field of 90-plus participants in division for hand-operated, three-wheeled cycles, narrowly beating out Rafal Wilk of Poland by two seconds.

"My ‘mission’ for this season was to accumulate points to qualify for the Paralympic Games of London 2012," Zanardi wrote on his website.

He’s off to a good start, considering he won the two races he competed in leading to the New York City Marathon.

Zanardi made his handcycle racing debut in the 2007 New York City Marathon, placing fourth after only four weeks of training.

Since that debut, he also has won the 2009 Venice Marathon and 2010 Rome Marathon.

In addition to racing Indy cars, Zanardi competed on the Formula One circuit.