Alessandro Zanardi is a legend around BMW. He started his career as a Formula 1 driver, but then a horrific crash caused him to lose his legs. Instead of giving up, Zanardi worked even harder to get behind the wheel again in competitive racing, as well as competing in triathalons and handcycling. Zanardi committed the past year to handcycling, working hard enough to represent Italy in the recent Paralympic Games and bring home two gold medals and one silver.
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Now that the Paralympic Games are over, BMW is happy to announce that Alex Zanardi is returning to the BMW works racing seat. The BMW Brand Ambassador’s first race back on the track is from the 14th-16th of October in the 2016 Italian GT Championship finale.
Before then, Zanardi has some warming up to do. His last race for BMW was on the Spa 24 Hours endurance race team in July of 2015, and during his break BMW introduced the BMW M6 GT3 as the successor to the BMW Z4 GT3, what Zanardi was used to. BMW is very happy about the timing of his return, as it will coincide with his 50th birthday a week later, which is a perfect companion to BMW’s 100th birthday and BMW Italy’s 50th birthday.
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“It is great to see Alex back in the cockpit after he had fully focused on para-cycling for one year,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “We followed his races in Rio de Janeiro full of excitement – and I have to say that, once more, he proved what an outstanding athlete he is… But now we are happy to have Alex back in our BMW racing family and in a BMW race car.” We wish Zanardi the best on his return to the track.