Legendary driver Alex Zanardi will be back in a cockpit on a regular basis in 2014. The 47-year-old Italian will race in the Blancpain Sprint Series at the wheel of a BMW Z4 GT3, which has been specially modified to meet his needs. The car will be fielded by ROAL Motorsport, which is owned by Roberto Ravaglia.
Zanardi, who raced in 41 Formula One Grands Prix and twice won the Champ Car World Series title, lost both legs in a crash while racing in 2001, but nevertheless made a courageous and successful return to motorsports.
Between 2005 and 2009, Zanardi raced in the FIA World Touring Car Championship, claiming four wins. In 2012 the Italian took on a different challenge — at the Paralympics in London he won two gold and one silver medal in the handcycling events. But now he will be back behind the wheel of a racing car.
Zanardi can hardly wait to return to the racing scene.
“Even after leaving the sport in 2009, I was still a racing driver at heart. When I took to the track in the BMW M3 DTM at the end of 2012, I immediately got itchy fingers again,” he explained. “Ever since that moment I have been toying with the idea of returning to motor racing. I am very pleased I can do this with my old friends at ROAL Motorsport.”
Team boss Roberto Ravaglia said: “Alex and I have gone through so much together in motorsport. Therefore, I obviously did not hesitate when the opportunity arose to send him back into action for ROAL Motorsport in 2014. The sprints in the Blancpain GT Series are tailor-made for Alex. We will do everything in our power to give him a strong car, with which he can reproduce the performances and success we have seen from him in the past.”
Zanardi will compete solo in his BMW Z4 GT3 during the Blancpain Sprint Series.