Zanardi Was the Best Placed BMW Driver at Portimao this Weekend

Alessandro Zanardi at Portimao 1 photo
Photo: BMW Motorsport
The fifth round of the 2014 Blancpain Sprint Series was hosted by Portimao this weekend, with the usual ‘suspect’ Alessandro Zanardi involved in the race as usual. His Z4 GT3 decked with a special livery that celebrated his recent wins outside the track was the best placed BMW in the entire event.
Zanardi crossed the line in 9th after starting the race from the 14th position on the grid. His car was damaged during the qualifying race on Saturday but Alex rightfully predicted that he can do better on Sunday. He was right.

The ROAL Motorsport car was pushed forward by Alex’s ambition lap after lap, winning position after position. In the early stages of the race he was even involved in a couple of really close duels, managing to stay on course while other drivers crashed.

After only a quarter of the race, Zanardi was eight. Then he climbed to the fifth position after his mandatory pit stop, thanks to his pit crew and things were looking great. However, the second part of the race proved challenging for Alex as the exhausting heat in the cabin took a toll on the 47-year old driver.

Furthermore, because of the bumpy track surface, he also had problems braking with his prosthetic leg, forcing him to drop back to ninth.

“It was incredibly hard because of the heat. It was extremely hot in the car and physically it was one of the hardest races of my life, including para-cycling”, Zanardi stated after the race.

“But I am relatively pleased with the result because I think we got the maximum that we could achieve. My main problem was braking on the very bumpy surface with my prosthetic leg. I had to brake very early and still I was going too deep into the corner. Anyway, we can be satisfied. We came home with a decent result, we brought the car to the finish without a single scratch and we can go to Zolder confidently,” he added.

The main race was won by Maximilian Gotz and Maximilian Buhk while the other 4 BMW Z4 GT3s in the race finished on places 13 to 16. The next stage will take place in Zolder between October 17th to 19th.
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