Alessandro Zanardi is one of our favorite athletes here at The News Wheel. The Italian racer was involved in a horrific CART motor race in 2001, which lead to an amputation of both of his legs. Instead of disappearing into blissful retirement, the athlete returned to racing behind the wheel of a BMW car modified for his new driving ability. Beyond the speedway, Zanardi also began to participate in handcycling events and triathlons, bringing home gold medals from the London games and winning the handcycling class of the New York Marathon.
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Zanardi took a year break from car racing to focus more on his efforts at preparing for the Rio Paralympic Games this year, and he brought home three medals in total, two gold and one silver. Now that the games are over, Zanardi has returned behind the wheel of his BMW M6 GT3, and his first event back on the track is truly one to be remembered.
The event was the 2016 Italian GT Championship in Mugello, Italy. After coming in an acceptable sixth place on the Saturday of racing, Zanardi clearly thought he need to do better. Whatever strategy he came up with worked, because by the time the race was over on Sunday, Zanardi was strolling away from his vehicle the big winner of the day.
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“There are no words to describe what I feel. Today I saw the sun setting and it never looked that beautiful. What a year, not only what a day. Once more I enjoyed beautiful moments in Rio de Janeiro, and now just jumping into this beautiful car was amazing,” Zanardi said. “But to win the race is something else.”
We are so excited for Alessandro Zanardi, and we hope all of his upcoming track outings are as successful as this one.