ZANARDI TO TEST DTM TITLE-WINNING BMW
Zanardi to test DTM title-winning BMW
Matt Beer and Jamie O'Leary
November 01, 2012
Alex Zanardi will test BMW's DTM title-winning M3 at the Nurburgring on Nov. 8, as he considers a return to motorsport in the touring car series next season.
The two-time Champ Car champion turned Paralympic gold medallist, who lost both legs in a crash at Lausitz in 2001, was a race-winner for BMW's World Touring Car program before switching to handbike racing after the '09 season.
BMW motorsport chief Jens Marquardt is confident the DTM car can be effectively modified so that Zanardi can be the first amputee to try the series' machinery.
"We will obviously have to make a few modifications to the car," said Marquardt. "
A DTM car is considerably more complex than the BMW 320si WTCC, with which Alex won on four occasions for us in the FIA World Touring Car Championship. However, our engineers happily accepted this challenge.
"Alex once again made sporting history in London. He thrilled the fans with his appearance at the race in Hockenheim, and was there in person when we sensationally completed the clean sweep of the 2012 DTM titles. He is simply a fantastic person."
Zanardi hinted after his success at the London 2012 Paralympics that he was interested in a return to car racing, with a run at the Rolex 24 at Daytona or Indianapolis 500 attempt initially mooted.
After attending the Hockenheim DTM finale, Zanardi told AUTOSPORT that the series was on his radar and that he was keen for a test.
"It's a first step that might lead us to investigate a further possibility," he said. "But right now there's no talks, no discussion of taking it any further.
"But sure this test could provide me with the curiosity to discuss taking this further; a possibility of a second test and God knows what?
This is the same way I got involved in hand-cycling – small steps at first and now it's my life."http://www.autosport.com