Watching Double-Amputee Racer Alex Zanardi Perform a Driver Change Is the Ultimate Inspiration
Zanardi, as he's proven over the last 18 years, won't be kept down by his injuries.
Alex Zanardi, the most bravehearted soul to come out of racing in the last three decades, will be competing with BMW Team RLL at this year's running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The back-to-back CART champion, who lost his legs as the result of a 2001 crash, has been steadily recouping ever since while getting behind the wheel again, primarily in touring cars, before his appearance at the January IMSA season-opener. There, he'll drive the same car alongside professional teammates Chaz Mostert, John Edwards, and Jesse Krohn thanks to switchable controls such as hand-adjustable throttle and braking devices.
While BMW has made accommodations to the M8 GTE that Zanardi will be racing, he'll still have to switch out with other drivers throughout the race—an especially inspiring sight to behold, as shown by a video posted to Twitter over the weekend.
Zanardi is known for his perseverance which has also earned him a quartet of Paralympic handcycling gold medals since his racing incident some 18 years ago. Here, you can see him not only getting out of the car on his own but also assisting the next driver in getting set up in the cockpit.
The ongoing Roar Before the 24 event has given us our first in-depth view of the Italian driving at Daytona, following up on a video released by BMW of Zanardi displaying his car's trick hand controls around the circuit.
Zanardi and Co. will take to Daytona International Speedway for racing action on Jan. 26 and 27, where they'll compete with the likes of Corvette, Ferrari, Ford, and Porsche for the GT Le Mans class victory.
Stay tuned to The Drive for more coverage of the Rolex 24 as we'll be reporting on the famous enduro throughout the month of January, culminating in a weekend-long flurry of stories while we roam the grounds at DIS firsthand.