BMW works driver Alessandro Zanardi completes season’s preparations

BMW works driver Alessandro Zanardi completes season’s preparations

08.04.2014: ... in the BMW Z4 GT3 at Misano. With another test day at Misano (IT), BMW works driver Alessandro Zanardi (IT) and ROAL Motorsport completed their

... in the BMW Z4 GT3 at Misano.

With another test day at Misano (IT), BMW works driver Alessandro Zanardi (IT) and ROAL Motorsport completed their preparations for the season with the BMW Z4 GT3. After a break of four years, the 47-year-old celebrates his comeback to motorsport by competing in the 2014 Blancpain Sprint Series. The season opener will take place on Easter Monday, 21st April, at Nogaro (FR).

In order to be well prepared for the first race weekend, Zanardi and ROAL Motorsport continued to test set-up solutions for the BMW Z4 GT3. In addition, the team used the test to further optimise the modifications done to the car to meet the specific needs of Zanardi, who brakes with his right prosthetic leg and controls everything else with his hands.

They also tested a shirt cooling system which serves to cool Zanardi’s body, as during the one-hour races the temperatures in the cockpit are very high. Weather conditions at the “Misano World Circuit” were ideal for this, with sunshine and temperatures rising up to 27 degrees celsius.

“Overall I am quite happy. We did a good test programme over the winter and up to this point we have collected enough information to do a decent job at our first race”, Zanardi said. “Today, we made another small step to further improve the already good package.

Wether this is going to be enough to compete at the top level at Nogaro I don’t know - I don’t have a crystal ball. Still I am quite satisfied and we did a good job. Probably I am the weakest part in the package, because driving with no legs definitely becomes a bigger handicap when the temperatures rise.

For me it is very hard to drive the car when I am sweating. Luckily today we were able to test this cooling system that has cold water circulating round the underwear, and that is a huge benefit for a driver like me. I am certainly planning to use it at Nogaro.”

“It was a good final test before the season”, added Roberto Ravaglia, Team Principal of ROAL Motorsport. “Alex did 70 laps today, which is around 300 kilometres. He was working on finalising the set-up of his BMW Z4 GT3 and everything went quite well.

With his lap times, he was pretty close to his team-mate Stefano Colombo, who is a very fast driver. So everything is prepared and we are ready to go to the first race. We are happy and will wait and see now what we can achieve in Nogaro.”


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 (GB) 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. He will compete in a BMW Z4 GT3 in the Blancpain Sprint Series.

Danilo Coglianese- photos BMW


08.04.2014 / MaP

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