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DTM: Zanardi Secures Fifth in One-Off Outing for BMW

Alex Zanardi BMW DTM Debut 3.jpg

Former Formula One driver and double amputee Alex Zanardi shows the old magic with an incredible fifth place finish on his one-off DTM debut at Misano.


The legend that is Alex Zanardi added another notch to an incredible list of life achievements last weekend, the 51-year-old scoring an exceptional fifth place finish on his debut race meeting in DTM machinery at the Italian Misano circuit.

Racing under floodlights for the very first time, the DTM would be home for the weekend to Zanardi as the former Lotus and Williams Formula One driver took advantage of an opportunity to sample the specially adapted BMW M4 DTM as guest driver for the German brand, stepping into the series for the first time and continuing a long and rather successful association with the Bavarian marque.

Alex Zanardi BMW DTM Debut 2.jpg


With a limited number of guest driver opportunities throughout the year handed to DTM teams this season, BMW took the opportunity to enter a specially adapted M4 for double amputee Zanardi at Misano, the 51-year-old IndyCar champion and WTCC race winner having long held a desire to try out in the fastest touring car category in the world.

Expectations of a solid result started low for Zanardi, having spent several years away from regular driving as the Italian looked to build up his successful Olympic career (having won an gold medals in two Paralympic games as well as multiple world championships), however as usual the flamboyant Italian proved once again only a fool would discount him from achieving a remarkable result, even if his fifth place finish on Sunday came as a surprise to the driver himself:

“This is the best joke of the weekend,” said Zanardi of his team radio message following the end of the race. “Come on, you’re kidding me! I am an old man, you cannot tease me this way.”

“I am very happy with this result and at my age, I won't get too many more opportunities to celebrate racing successes like this. I had a very good racing speed and wasn't sure what to do when slower drivers kept appearing in front of me!

“Seriously, I am very grateful to have been given this opportunity by BMW. They always believed that I could do it.

“This trust is a great gift – and I am happy that I was able to vindicate that. Many thanks to the DTM family too, for welcoming me with open arms.

“I will always have a place in my heart for this weekend. It has taken me 51 years to experience it – but at least I got that chance.”

Alex Zanardi BMW DTM Debut 4.jpg


Despite the exceptional result, it is fair to say that Zanardi didn't quite achieve fifth place on outright pace alone, the second race in Misano having been run under difficult wet conditions and an inspire tyre strategy having played into the BMW drivers hands - Zanardi staying out on wet tyres later than his rivals avoiding the need to pit again to change from slicks once the downpour restarted. Regardless of the circumstances, keeping pace with other more experienced drivers, staying out of trouble and fighting right to the end of the race all prove that Zanardi still has what it takes to compete at the very top of the motorsport tree.

The word legend is used all to often in motorsport, however with Zanardi I think it entirely fitting. If this man doesn't inspire you, then no one will.

Alex Zanardi BMW DTM Debut 5.jpg
Alex Zanardi BMW DTM Debut.jpg


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randMracer

Shut Up and Race!
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Incredible job! Must be hard to get used to braking by pushing forward with the hand. Also not accidentally hitting the gas while shifting. Amazing testament to the human spirit and overcoming all odds to do the thing you love.
 
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Finally !
One thread we all agree about. It's actually nice to see it.
I just hope staff prefer these simple threads, I know that those with a lot of fighting looks "more popular", more people comes in, thread becomes RD version of "Game of Thrones" and I guess in process those things raise site rating, for all wrong reasons I would say.

As hippies used to say... Make race not war ! :D
 

apex11

@Simberia
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Utterly amazing guy, i agree with all the plaudits towards him.

One thing to note though, the sim 'community' would be up in arms about people using hand controllers to brake etc if they were playing a game....
Fact is you can drive a car using controllers.......
I use a wheel set up, but point is maybe we should stop being so precious about it as for some people its all they can use to enjoy the same hobby we all love.....
 
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One thing to note though, the sim 'community' would be up in arms about people using hand controllers to brake etc if they were playing a game....

I don't mean to take the positivity out of the thread by getting us sidetracked here so I'll just say that rocker shifters such as the McLaren GT3 wheel by Fanatec and the Thrustmaster F1 Wheel are great for our one handed simracers. iRacers have for years used button clutch etc so I'm not sure you're right on this one, I think we all enjoy a good adapt and overcome story.

So here's celebrating simracers overcoming. Handi tackling the Nordschliefe Tourist:
 
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Love this kind of news, Alex Zanardi is ranked 5th in the DTM, until there everything normal, but for those who already knew this driver from the wtcc, we know that he is missing the 2 legs, due to a serious accident suffered in an oval with the Indycar, This hero has been F1, Indycar, Wtcc driver and now in the Dtm, and I wonder, if he lacks the 2 legs and has been 5th, as it would be if he were a fully trained driver, I can feel enormously happy to see a driver who nevertheless loves this sport as much as to return to piloting, and as a reward, to be 5th, there are times when sometimes miracles exist, and this has a name and a surname, congratulations Alex you are my hero, thank you to RD for post this news!!!
 
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Can anyone help me with daytime shots of the car? Was thinking of doing a skin for the URD mod, cheers :)

EDIT: Ok, I think I've found some, but I'm having real trouble finding the back of the car. Will probably have a look at the YouTube vids as well :)
 
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Messages
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Finally !
One thread we all agree about. It's actually nice to see it.
I just hope staff prefer these simple threads, I know that those with a lot of fighting looks "more popular", more people comes in, thread becomes RD version of "Game of Thrones" and I guess in process those things raise site rating, for all wrong reasons I would say.

As hippies used to say... Make race not war ! :D

I think discussions with people and their different opinions are pretty important for a healthy forum, otherwise life would be pretty boring if we all agreed on everything. And at the end even hippies like to discuss :D

Regarding Zanardi: I still have his Podium cap from his frist WTCC win. Needless to say that he is a big inspiration and somone who I share huge respect for. That guy is the incarnation of motorsport and racing.

 

Mikec87

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He is amazing. I remember seeing the accident live....so thought he was dead. Awesome stuff to see him still racing and racing hard.
 
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Can anyone help me with daytime shots of the car? Was thinking of doing a skin for the URD mod, cheers :)

EDIT: Ok, I think I've found some, but I'm having real trouble finding the back of the car. Will probably have a look at the YouTube vids as well :)
You have these ?
3936126_0517_dtm_alex_zanardi_misano_day_2_2.jpg.pagespeed.ce.1FKsFbJHkt.jpg

3936401_P90319400-highRes.jpg

978_203081.jpg

profile:mag-996x562

zanardi02.jpg
 
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You have these ?

Thanks matey,

Yeah I have a couple of them, I also found a great picture of the car from the top which is a life saver. Not too complex which is nice :)

I'll see if I can get a version one car done by the weekend for those that may want it, I'll then do a version two with the helmet, race suit, etc.

Not sure at the moment whether to do the 2012/13 car as that's across AMS,RF2 and AC or do the newer URD car (which I think is still Assetto Corsa only). Although visually the newer URD car is more accurate.
 

giga1tr

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I had goose bumps at the end of the race. Alex is an incredibly positive person. This race was a high-light.
 

wombat999

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An outstanding example to each and every disabled person and a thoroughly nice man as well.
Every bit as inspiring as the athletes in the upcoming Invictus Games.
:thumbsup:
 
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