Alex Zanardi has secured his third hand-cycling gold medal in the Paralympic Games, with the former Formula One driver and CART champion winning the H5 time trial event at Rio de Janeiro.

Click Here: new zealand rugby team jerseys

The Italian was only third at the halfway mark of the 20km race in Brazil, but he recovered to beat Australia’s Stuart Tripp by 2.74s.

The 49-year-old had already claimed two golds at the previous Games held in London, dominating the H4 time trial and road race while also earning silver for Italy in the road team relay.

Zanardi raced in F1 for Jordan, Minardi, Lotus and Williams, taking 41 starts between 1991 and 1999. He enjoyed most of his success Stateside though, as he won the US open-wheel CART series in 1997 and 1998.

Zanardi lost both his legs in a horrific crash at the Lausitzring in 2001 when he was hit by another car at full speed. The Italian overcame this trauma and made a successful return to motorsports with BMW in the World Touring Car Championship before taking up hand-cycling in 2007.

Zanardi’s third Paralympic gold comes on the eve of the 15-year anniversary of his near-fatal accident.

Chris Medland’s 2016 Singapore Grand Prix preview

TECHNICAL: Under the skin of the Red Bull RB12

2017 F1 driver line-ups so far

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter