Alex Zanardi to make DTM debut at Misano with BMW

Alex Zanardi will make a one-off appearance in the DTM later this year with BMW in his home round at Misano

Alex Zanardi to make DTM debut at Misano with BMW

The two-time CART champion and Paralympic cycling gold medalist will compete in an additional BMW M4 DTM at the August 25-26 event.

BMW is currently working with the 51-year-old Italian on adapting its DTM car to suit Zanardi's needs as a double amputee.

"I am incredibly excited about racing the BMW M4 DTM at Misano because I always dreamt of adding the DTM experience into my 'book of best moments' in my motorsport career," said Zanardi, who drove the manufacturer's 'race taxi' at Hockenheim in 2015, and was given a full test of its M3 DTM machine following his Paralympic Games success in 2012.

"DTM has for many years been one of the motorsport disciplines that are the pinnacles of racing regarding technology, the speed of the car and the level of the competition, which these days is higher than ever.

"The skills of the drivers competing in DTM and the preparation of the teams are, in my view, as good as in Formula 1. They are top of the game and you can't get any better than that.

"That is what concerns me and will make me approach this challenge with a lot of respect, knowing that it will be one of toughest things I have ever done in my racing career.

"I am really grateful that BMW offered to start this project and to all the engineers in Munich who are already preparing the car. I will do my very best to represent them in such a competitive field."

Zanardi's addition to the DTM grid comes with the blessing of BMW's rivals Mercedes and Audi, and he will become the second guest driver of the season following Mattias Ekstrom's final appearance in the series at the Hockenheim opener with Audi.

BMW motorsport boss Jens Marquardt added: "Alex Zanardi as a guest starter in Misano - that will be a real sensation in an already spectacular DTM season.

"Our thanks go to the ITR and our colleagues from Audi and Mercedes-Benz for giving the green-light for this guest start.

"Our engineers are currently using all their expertise and ideas to work on modifying the BMW M4 DTM to suit Alex's requirements. We are looking forward to having Alex in our BMW DTM family."

Zanardi will join BMW for this weekend's Hungaroring DTM round to get a closer look at the series, before completing a testing programme in the weeks ahead of his series debut.

shares
comments
Rast reusing chassis from Lausitzring DTM crash at the Hungaroring

Previous article

Rast reusing chassis from Lausitzring DTM crash at the Hungaroring

Next article

Alex Zanardi thought BMW's DTM Misano offer was a 'joke'

Alex Zanardi thought BMW's DTM Misano offer was a 'joke'
Load comments

About this article

Series DTM
Author Glenn Freeman
The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king Plus

The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king

It's taken him a while to emerge as a consistent title challenger, but in the final year of DTM's Class One rule set, Nico Muller has smoothed the rough edges and has double champion stablemate Rene Rast working harder than ever to keep up in the title race

DTM
Oct 13, 2020
How a DTM failure became an unlikely Nurburgring conqueror Plus

How a DTM failure became an unlikely Nurburgring conqueror

Opel's fortunes in the DTM had taken a turn for the worst by 2003 - hardly the pedigree that suggested it could take on the toughest 24-hour race of them all. But that's exactly what it did

DTM
Sep 23, 2020
The season that revitalised a sleeping giant Plus

The season that revitalised a sleeping giant

On the 20th anniversary of the resumption of hostilities in the DTM, Autosport revisits a classic season that brought a staple of German motorsport back to life with a bang and set in motion the careers of some notable names

DTM
May 28, 2020
Does 2000 hold the answers to DTM's current crisis? Plus

Does 2000 hold the answers to DTM's current crisis?

It's 20 years since the DTM roared back into life at a packed Hockenheim with a back-to-basics approach as the antidote to its high-tech past. Now it's on its knees again, so is it time to recall the lessons learned in 2000?

DTM
May 28, 2020
The last-chance saloon of Germany's forgotten tin-top champions Plus

The last-chance saloon of Germany's forgotten tin-top champions

The Opel Vectra GTS was the last in the line of the marque's DTM challengers, but failed to hit the lofty heights of its predecessors when financial constraints hit

DTM
May 15, 2020
Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers Plus

Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers

Audi last week announced it would be exiting the DTM at the end of 2020, bringing the curtain down on 20 years of continuous participation since the series' reboot in 2000. Autosport's expert panel ranks its 10 best drivers from the period

DTM
May 5, 2020
How the DTM landed itself in crisis Plus

How the DTM landed itself in crisis

Audi's announcement that it will withdraw from the DTM was the latest bodyblow for a series that has lost three manufacturers in as many years. Some major soul-searching will now be required to assess how it can survive

DTM
Apr 28, 2020
The FE cynic who had to accept change in his series Plus

The FE cynic who had to accept change in his series

DTM boss Gerhard Berger was an ardent detractor of Formula E and was reluctant for his series to embrace greener engine technologies. But this cynic's tune has had to change to ensure the DTM's existence in the future of motorsport

DTM
Dec 13, 2019