Zukanovic plots comeback as Tassie TCM return looms
MARCUS ZUKANOVIC remains hopeful that he will return to the Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters field in the season opener at AWC Race Tasmania later this month.
The Ford XD Falcon driver has been undergoing extensive rehabilitation for more than six months following a badly broken leg suffered in a non-motorsport related accident mid last year.
The injury required significant rehabilitation however has progressed to the point of his medical professionals clearing him to race.
With his last race coming at Sydney Motorsport Park almost eight months ago, Zukanovic is champing at the bit to get back behind the wheel and has confirmed that Tassie is close to being a sure thing.
“The body is in good shape and I have an OK from my surgeon to get back behind the wheel, so things are looking pretty good,” Zukanovic confirmed.
“I’ve explained the process to him, explained that I’ll be left-foot braking and everything about what I am doing and he has given it the green light.
“He said ‘You know your body, you know yourself and what to do’ and to not put myself in a situation where I can aggravate the injury – which I don’t want to do!
“We’re going to test next week to make sure I can get through the test day and the left foot braking goes OK, and if that all checks out we’ll be at Round 1.
“It’s been tough sitting on the side lines and I’m pretty fired up to get back out there.”
The Action Racing driver, who moved into TCM following successful stints in both Commodore Cup and V8 Ute racing – often at the same time – and several years in Supercars competition, said his approach would be conservative for the first two rounds.
“Going to Tassie and then having Newcastle (500) two weeks later means it’s a busy start and they’re both tough tracks,” he said.
“Symmons is hard on braking and Newcastle is just a tough street circuit, so we’ll be pretty conservative to get through both.
“If we can score some points, finish the races then there’s several months to continue the rehab and get ready for the next round in June, where we’ll be able to go a bit harder.
“I’m in a good place and we know the car is good, so we’ll go testing next week to make sure all is OK – and go from there.”
The opening round of the Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters Series commences alongside the first round of the 2023 Shannons SpeedSeries, at AWC Race Tasmania on February 24-26.