BMW Motorsport has announced that Alex Zanardi is set to compete in the 2019 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona in a modified M8 GTE. It will be his IMSA debut.
Zanardi, who is a multiple Paralympic hand cycling gold-medalist, and BMW Motorsport head Jens Marquardt announced the Italian’s entry to the race and his “Road To Daytona” programme at the brand’s end of season event today.
“He will now start his “Road to Daytona”, including development works on a new braking system.” BMW Motorsport tweeted.
We have two winners of the BMW Sports Trophy Driver Competition with 680 points each: Congratulations to Max Koebolt and Ricardo van der Ende! #BMWSeasonReview17 #BMWSportsTrophy #BMWCustomerRacing pic.twitter.com/rOPWtYbmmg
— BMW Motorsport (@BMWMotorsport) December 15, 2017
“I am delighted that we will be working with Alessandro Zanardi on this new project in 2018,” Marquardt said.
“It was his great desire to return to North America for another big race. We are only too happy to make that possible. The fans at Daytona can look forward to a real highlight with Alex and the BMW M8 GTE in 2019.”
Zanardi a former CART Champion, F1 and WTCC driver, who lost both his legs in a racing accident at the Lausitzring back in 2001, has experience racing GT machinery.
Notably, he competed in the Blancpain Sprint Series driving a modified BMW Z4 GT3 in 2014, and Spa 24 Hours in 2015, also in a modified Z4 with Timo Glock and Bruno Spengler.
He then went on to win an Italian GT race last year in a return to racing at Mugello, driving a modified M6 GT3.