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Alex Zanardi to Make DTM Debut For BMW

Alex Zanardi DTM.jpg

Double amputee and Former CART, F1 and WTCC driver Alex Zanardi will make a much anticipated DTM debut for BMW at his home Misano round later this year.


Having lost both legs in a violent CART accident at the Lausitzring in 2001, Italian racing legend Alex Zanardi lost none of his competitive spirit, returning to the German venue just 12 months after his accident to lap the European oval at high speed in front of an adoring crowd of race fans.

With his speed and determination unquenched, Zanardi would embark on a second career following his accident in the super competitive World Touring Car Championship, driving a specially adapted BMW 320si to several race victories during his five year stay in the WTCC.

With age catching up with the Italian, Zanardi would step away from full time touring car racing at the end of 2009, turning his attention to the Paralympic world where the double Champ Car title winner would design his own hand bike, successfully racing his way to an incredible 12 gold medals between 2012 and 2016.

Having recently returned to the Blancpain GT Series and national Italian GT series, again behind the wheel of a BMW, the German marque have now confirmed a one off special appearance at the Misano round of the DTM this August, a fine follow up to the specially organised test in 2012 to celebrate the driver winning gold at the London Paralympic games.

“I feel like a kid in a candy store and massively look forward to racing the BMW M4 DTM at Misano,” says Zanardi. As motor-racing enthusiast I had planned to definitely make the trip to Misano and attend the first DTM night races in the history of the sport. But to now be in the cockpit and contest the races myself is just fantastic.”

At 51 years of age, and without the benefit of a recent full programme of driving behind him, a DTM debut will be a major challenge for Zanardi, however with an iron determination and more talent than many current drivers will ever wish to enjoy, don't bet against Zanardi bagging a surprise result this August...

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Looking forward to Zanardi making a debut in the DTM? Can the Italian challenge for decent results in your opinion? Let us know in the comments section below!
 
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Benutzername

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If i'd to describe him with three words it would be: Inspiration, hero, fighter.

What a man. I hope he can achieve a good result.
 
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If i'd to describe him with three words it would be: Inspiration, hero, fighter.

What a man. I hope he can achieve a good result.
Don't forget the teams having faith in him and modifying the car for him

That is not what usually happens in the job market, normally disabled people are immediately dropped and out of the loop!
 
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Paul Jeffrey

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If i'd to describe him with three words it would be: Inspiration, hero, fighter.

Never have truer words been spoken.

The words legend, hero, superstar are too often used without meaning. With Zanardi, these are almost too tame to use for him. What a star. Inspiring man in more ways than I've got space to describe here. Love the bloke.

Please Mr. Z, do something in a touring car full time again (WTCR anyone?)
 

Frans van der Linden

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First CART race ever in Europe ( just 4 days after 9/11)
They werent even sure if the weekend would take place at all.
But since all materials and stuff was in Germany already, they dicided to have it a go.

A memorial race weekend and race day - i was sitting right in front where he crashed.
#Legs4Zanardi
 

randMracer

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Wow, I knew of the accident, but not the details. Just watched a doc about it and he is very lucky to be alive. Lost 75% of his blood and heart stopped 7 times in the air ambulance. Amazing testimonial of the human spirit.
 
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First CART race ever in Europe ( just 4 days after 9/11)
They werent even sure if the weekend would take place at all.
But since all materials and stuff was in Germany already, they dicided to have it a go.

A memorial race weekend and race day - i was sitting right in front where he crashed.
#Legs4Zanardi

And i was there 2 years later, and saw him driving his last 13 laps. His fastest lap was good enough to qualify as fifth, if he had participated in the race.
And i tell you something. The complete grandstand gave standing ovations, and there was NOBODY without tears in his eyes.
 
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One of my favourite race drivers, he was a star in Indycar and delivered some of the best races I've ever seen.

Never met him but always seems approachable but you can see in any interview the incredible self belief he has. His Olympic success is also incredible achievement.

I was hoping that maybe he will do the Spa 24 again at some point (I think it's still in the works but depends on getting the same people together) but these one off drives are probably perfect for him and what he wants to achieve.

It will be interesting to see how he does, purely because the DTM cars are certainly the type of car that some can adjust to and others can't. Even some really good drivers who have done well in other categories have failed to deliver in them.

Wishing him all the best for the event and hoping he does well :)
 
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I've always wondered how the hell was/is Zanardi allowed to race after losing his sister to a car crash in 1979, get run over while riding his bicycle, get a concussion from crashing his car at Spa-Francorchamps and LOSE HIS LEGS AND 75% OF HIS BLOOD when Alex Tagliani crashed into him at the Lausitzring? He could get/have gotten himself killed or at the very least lost another limb. How did his doctor, his insurance agent and his loved ones react?

Don't forget the teams having faith in him and modifying the car for him

That is not what usually happens in the job market, normally disabled people are immediately dropped and out of the loop!

Amputees are being denied jobs as safe as office work? This makes me seethe with rage.
 
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Zanardi is so great in many ways.

Don't forget the teams having faith in him and modifying the car for him
That is not what usually happens in the job market, normally disabled people are immediately dropped and out of the loop!
The "teams" are BMW. They keep offering new challenges to Zanardi.
 
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the best passionate man ever. he takes from his life & opportunities everything he could and lives more vivid life than many with 2 legs. cheers to Z!
 
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the best passionate man ever. he takes from his life & opportunities everything he could and lives more vivid life than many with 2 legs. cheers to Z!

Agree! Saw Mr.Zanardi in 2002 in Monaco. He made the kickoff for the traditional Football Game between Formula 1 Champions and other World Champions and a Guest Team, for good Causes. Everything shortly after his terrible accident. He was very friendly and took time for his Fans. They thanked him with standing Ovations! Very strong man! I'm happy
for him!
 
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On a similar vein.

I didn't realise but reading DailySportsCar.com I see that the disabled driver than ran the Garage 56 entry some years back at Le Mans (Frederic Sausset) is setting up a team for disabled drivers, incredible stuff.

http://www.dailysportscar.com/2018/05/25/la-filiere-frederic-sausset-hits-the-track.html

All the drivers have unique disabilities too which must make setting up the driving controls and environment for each driver quite a challenge.
 
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Ok, in the second misano race he finished 5th at night with rain! i think it's incredible!
 
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