RACING driver Dario Franchitti is still fighting to get back to fitness six months after the horror 200mph crash that almost killed him.
The Bathgate-born driver, a four-time IndyCar champion, was left with two broken vertebrae, a fractured right ankle and severe concussion after the smash in Houston, Texas, last October.
The injuries have forced him to retire from the sport he loved, and left him facing possible brain damage – but Franchitti admits he is lucky to be alive.
Franchitti has been working to recover his fitness at his £4 million home in Port of Menteith, Stirling.
The 40-year-old driver said: “I’m definitely in the glass-half-full mode, though I’m very lucky to be here. I still limp quite badly.
“I can’t run but I can ride my bike and get on the rowing machine. As for walking around, I’m still a wee bit restricted.
“My head, well, I just get tired. That’s the difficult part, the one thing they can’t quantify, so you have to be very careful.
“The brain is such a big unknown because they still don’t understand it.
“Each person is different and, although you can’t see any issues from the outside, my brain is still pretty damaged and it’s going to take a while to get back to normal.”
Franchitti is now set to work promoting IndyCar racing, and despite the problems revealed he was also back behind the wheel – although wouldn’t be doing any racing.
He said: “I can drive on the road, which has been good. It’s going to be fascinating [promoting racing] but I really miss driving the car.”
And he also said his thoughts were with Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher, who suffered a brain injury while skiing in the French Alps in December and remains in an induced coma.
He said: “My thoughts are very much with Michael.
“His situation is just terrible – the guy lived his whole
life up to that point on the absolute limit and then that happens.
“All our thoughts and prayers are with him.”