Alessandro Zanardi Back in a BMW Cockpit This Season

Alessandro Zanardi and his BMW Z4 GT3 7 photos
Photo: BMW Motorsport
Alessandro Zanardi and his BMW Z4 GT3Alessandro Zanardi and his BMW Z4 GT3Alessandro Zanardi and Jens MarquardtAlessandro Zanardi and Jens MarquardtAlessandro ZanardiAlessandro Zanardi
This season we’ll get to see a true legend behind the wheel of a BMW Z4 GT3 in the Blancpain GT Sprint Series, as Alessandro Zanardi will make his comeback with the ROAL Motorsport team.
For those of you that are not familiar with the name of the Italian, you should know that Zanardi used to race in Formula One and even won two CART Championships for Chip Ganassi Racing before the series became known as IndyCars. A real talent on the track, he was struck down by an unfortunate incident back in 2001 when, in a tragic accident, he lost his legs.

That didn’t stop him though, as racing was his life and the only thing he was really good at. Fitted with prosthetic legs, Alessandro pushed on, driving for BMW using a specially prepared car in the European Touring Car Championship and, later on, in the World Touring Car Championship, managing podium finishes despite his handicap.

After leaving the WTCC, he even won two gold medals in the 2012 Paralympics in London with his handbike and, in the same year, went on to practice with a BMW M3 DTM to prepare for a comeback.

The 47-year-old will now join BMW once again and he’s excited about it: “Even after leaving the sport in 2009, I was still a racing driver at heart,” he said.

“When I took to the track in the BMW M3 DTM at the end of 2012, I immediately got itchy fingers again. Ever since that moment I have been toying with the idea of returning to motor racing. Together with BMW we have looked at various options. I am even more pleased that it has worked out with my old friends at ROAL Motorsport. I would like to say a big thank you to BMW for this unique opportunity,” Zanardi added.

The 2014 Blancpain GT Series season features both endurance and sprint races. Zanardi will drive one of the two ROAL Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3s in six of the seven sprint races, which each last one hour.
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