Alex Zanardi Will Race Modified BMW M8 GTE at Daytona 24 in 2019
The 51-year-old Italian driver lost both of his legs in a crash nearly 17 years ago.
Alex Zanardi, who suffered a major crash in 2001 which caused him to lose both of his legs, will make a comeback to IMSA endurance racing in 2019. The 51-year-old Italian will drive at the Rolex 24 behind the wheel of a modified BMW M8 GTE that allows him to brake without the use of his artificial limbs.
In his career, Zanardi has managed two CART titles (1998-1999) and multiple acclaims in the World Touring Car Championship. Prior to his success in these series, he also served a brief stint as a Formula 1 driver in the early '90s, prefacing the rest of his career with the Footwork and Minardi teams.
Since his accident 17 years ago, Zanardi has competed in various series including Blancpain GT with BMW. Perhaps most notable was his 24 Hours of Spa running two years ago with a Roal Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3 where he drove alongside factory pilots Bruno Spengler and Timo Glock.
The racing veteran has also taken up handcycling during his career as a professional athlete and gained success at the global level. He has competed at the last two Paralympic Games, earning gold medals in the 2012 running in London as well as Rio in 2016.
It seems as if BMW will document Zanardi's "Road to Daytona" with a video series dedicated to the Italian driver. He will compete on the one-year anniversary of the M8 GTE's debut which will take place at the January 2018 Daytona 24.