Vallelunga, 27th February 2014 -- Alessandro Zanardi continued his preparation for his comeback season with BMW. The 47-year-old Italian completed a comprehensive test with his BMW Z4 GT3, which the BMW works driver will race in the 2014 Blancpain Sprint Series with ROAL Motorsport. This week Zanardi and ROAL Motorsport spent several days testing at “Autodromo Vallelunga” near Rome.
“Honestly, it is very hard not to totally show my enthusiasm, and I don’t want to sound too overconfident, but after this test I have every reason to be confident”, Zanardi summed up. “Because not only the throttle mechanism, the brake pedal and the special clutch, but also all the other controls created for my personal needs are working so well we were able to focus on the set-up of the car. Just this fact is good news. But in addition, we are going home knowing that we showed considerable performance in terms of lap times. The BMW Z4 GT3 is literally sheer driving pleasure. We have been able to be fast on worn tyres, we have been able to really learn the car and we have been able to make changes to it which helped us to better understand what we should do for qualifying, and what to do for the race to have a consistent machine. So we are going home with a lot of information, and it is going to be tough to improve even further. But nevertheless, we are going to keep pushing because we are all highly motivated and excited about this opportunity and this project we are doing together. Therefore I am very, very happy and I can’t wait to get in the car again.”
Zanardi lost both legs in a serious crash while racing in 2001, but only two years later he successfully returned to motorsport with BMW. Among other things, he contested in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) for several seasons, where he celebrated four race wins. Having won two gold medals on his handbike at the 2012 Paralympics in London and completed a test in the BMW M3 DTM in the same year, he is now set to contest a full season for BMW for the first time since 2009. Zanardi’s first race in the Blancpain Sprint Series is scheduled for the 21st April in Nogaro.