Zanardi: Super GT/DTM entry valuable for Paralympics preparation

Two-time CART champion Alex Zanardi says competing in the 'Super GT x DTM Dream Race' for BMW was "very valuable" for his 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games preparations

Zanardi: Super GT/DTM entry valuable for Paralympics preparation

Last weekend, Zanardi raced a specially adapted BMW M4 DTM that included a revised handbrake system, which accounted for the DTM's change to using four-cylinder turbocharged engines for 2019.

He retired from the opening race with an engine problem and went on to take 13th in the wild finale.

Zanardi aims to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games, after winning four gold medals at London '12 and Rio '16, and the handcycling competition will take place at the Fuji circuit.

Around last Thursday's test running for Super GT cars, Zanardi took to the track in his handcycle and used the weekend overall to collect data for his future training programme.

"This trip was very valuable for me because I brought my handcycle and I was able to train around the course," Zanardi told Autosport.

"Not that this is like motorsport, where you can test, but you can find the right set-up or at least learn the set-up very well.

"Once you've been around [the track], you know already what you have to train for.

"This is what I'm bringing home - it's very valuable information.

"Now I know what I have to train for at the last part of the circuit, which I didn't know because it wasn't available on previous days.

"But now I've got all the information that I need. And it's just a question of sitting down with my trainer, trying to prepare a good programme from now on.

"And then live another adventure - adventurous preparation towards the Paralympic Games - which, at the age of 53, quite frankly, is a real gift."

The turbocharged engine was expected to provide a more difficult challenge for Zanardi due to its different behaviour compared to the previous four-litre V8s.

But Zanardi said "the power was never too much" and explained that his real difficulty was in managing the 2018-spec Hankook tyre with a more powerful engine.

Zanardi was several seconds off the pace in practice and qualifying, but ultimately improved in the Sunday's race due to its stop-start nature.

"When you cannot get the temperature in the tyre, you don't get grip," he said.

"When you finally get a little bit of grip, you can push harder and generate even more temperature.

"So if you are not able to pass that line and to finally make things click in, then you may suffer our gap - that at some point was quite embarrassing, to be honest with you."

shares
comments
BMW now Aston team's lead hope for DTM engine supply after HWA split
Previous article

BMW now Aston team's lead hope for DTM engine supply after HWA split

Next article

DTM, Super GT 'car exchange' mooted for future of Class One Racing

DTM, Super GT 'car exchange' mooted for future of Class One Racing
The longest-serving Red Bull driver revealing F1’s true brutality Plus

The longest-serving Red Bull driver revealing F1’s true brutality

His day of days in Formula 1 came at Indianapolis in 2005, a day grand prix racing strives to forget. But Patrick Friesacher, the long-serving Red Bull lieutenant, remains active today driving a two-seater that provides ordinary people with a glimpse of an F1 car’s savage potential, including this writer...

Formula 1
Jun 2, 2022
How the DTM has come back stronger from its Norisring nadir Plus

How the DTM has come back stronger from its Norisring nadir

OPINION: Questionable driving standards and farcical team orders meant the DTM's first season under GT3 regulations ended under a cloud. But the organisation has responded firmly by banning team orders and welcomed new manufacturers, making for an intriguing season ahead as new and returning names prepare for battle

DTM
Mar 30, 2022
The remarkable career of a 'classy' champion who rejected politics Plus

The remarkable career of a 'classy' champion who rejected politics

Over two decades as a factory driver with Audi and BMW, Martin Tomczyk earned the respect of team-mates and rivals as a hard but fair racer. After calling time on his racing career, the 2011 DTM champion sat down with Autosport to look back

GT
Mar 5, 2022
The other Hamilton conqueror seeking career revival Plus

The other Hamilton conqueror seeking career revival

On his rise through the ranks before reaching Formula 1, Lewis Hamilton was usually a cut above the rest. But he never truly asserted himself over a Mercedes-backed fellow Briton who traded single-seaters for touring cars and is now seeking new opportunities after a year largely spent on the sidelines

DTM
Dec 18, 2021
How the DTM's shambolic finale poses awkward future questions Plus

How the DTM's shambolic finale poses awkward future questions

OPINION: The scenes at the Norisring as Mercedes used blatant team orders to secure the first DTM title of the new GT3 era totally undermined the credibility of the championship. But as well as overshadowing the season, it also presents uncomfortable questions to series bosses about the direction it is headed in

DTM
Oct 12, 2021
How Audi's new DTM star is channeling Rast to achieve his "childhood dream" Plus

How Audi's new DTM star is channeling Rast to achieve his "childhood dream"

Having learned the ropes in GT3 alongside Rene Rast, Kelvin van der Linde is in line to take up the three-time champion's baton as Audi's new DTM king. From humble origins in South Africa, it's been a remarkable journey so far for the current series leader, but he knows that the 2021 title is a long way from settled just yet

DTM
Sep 18, 2021
The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive Plus

The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive

Switching to GT3 regulations marked a fresh start for the DTM in 2021, but it has also drawn a line in the sand against other series using similar cars by engaging AVL Racing to develop a bespoke Balance of Performance system. Here’s how it works

DTM
Jul 23, 2021
The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars Plus

The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars

OPINION: Facing collapse last year, the DTM has shifted its philosophy from a championship for silhouette-based touring cars to GT machines not too dissimilar to those racing across multiple series worldwide. But despite some initial BoP-based teething troubles, there were some pleasant findings as the 'new DTM' got underway at Monza

DTM
Jun 22, 2021