Formula 1
10 Oct
-
13 Oct
Event finished
MotoGP
04 Oct
-
06 Oct
Event finished
R
Japanese GP
18 Oct
-
20 Oct
FP1 in
1 day
NASCAR Cup
11 Oct
-
13 Oct
Event finished
R
Kansas II
18 Oct
-
20 Oct
First Practice in
2 days
Kart IndyCar
30 Aug
-
01 Sep
Event finished
20 Sep
-
22 Sep
Event finished
WEC
04 Oct
-
06 Oct
Event finished
08 Nov
-
10 Nov
FP1 in
22 days
Supercars
10 Oct
-
13 Oct
Event finished
R
Surfers Paradise
25 Oct
-
27 Oct
Next event in
8 days
Formula E
R
Ad Diriyah E-prix
22 Nov
-
23 Nov
Next event in
36 days
R
Santiago E-prix
17 Jan
-
18 Jan
Next event in
92 days

Zanardi thought BMW DTM offer was a "joke"

shares
comments
Zanardi thought BMW DTM offer was a "joke"
By:
Co-author: Julia Spacek
May 30, 2018, 9:25 AM

Alex Zanardi says he thought BMW was “joking” when it offered him the chance to make a one-off DTM appearance at Misano.

Race winner #50 BMW Team Italia BMW M6 GT3: Alex Zanardi
The BMW M4 DTM of Alex Zanardi
Alex Zanardi, BMW M4 DTM
Alex Zanardi, BMW Team Italia
Alex Zanardi, BMW M4 DTM
Alex Zanardi, BMW M4 DTM
Race winner #50 BMW Team Italia BMW M6 GT3: Alex Zanardi

Zanardi will make his series debut in the night races and BMW is working on adapting its M4 DTM car to suit his needs as a double amputee.

The Italian says he was approached by BMW’s motorsport director Jens Marquardt two months ago.

"Jens Marquardt came up with the idea, he offered me the opportunity to be in that role in Misano,” he said. “I never expected it to be possible.

“At first I thought it was a joke because I know how competitive the DTM is. I haven't driven a race car in a long time.

“The last time was in Mugello in 2016 at the Italian GT Championship season finale.

“There are still many question marks and it won't be a Sunday afternoon ride for me. It's going to be one of the biggest challenges I've ever faced as a racer."

Zanardi added that he hopes his appearance in the DTM can help increase interest in the series while it is at a crossroads ahead of Mercedes’ impending exit at the end of 2018.

"Mattias has opened the doors for a guest starter with his farewell races. I think Jens Marquardt spoke with [series boss] Gerhard Berger, and probably also with representatives of Audi and Mercedes," said Zanardi.

"I would like to thank everyone, knowing that it would not normally have been possible to have a 19th car in the field.

“But I think they could all imagine that someone like me - at my home race in Misano - could sit in the car.

"My participation could further increase the interest in the series, which deserves our full attention."

Zanardi pointed to two-time DTM champion Mattias Ekstrom’s struggles in his guest outing at Hockenheim as an indicator of the level of competitiveness he can expect.

Ekstrom finished 17th and 16th in his final DTM races having not conducted any pre-season testing and Zanardi admits it is reasonable to expect a similar performance.

"It was always a dream of mine to start in the DTM as a professional racing driver, it's fantastic," said Zanardi.

"When you see that a very talented driver like Mattias Ekstrom is at the end of the field at his last races at Hockenheim, then there is no plausible reason why I should do otherwise.

"Normally I'd have to be even worse than him. But I am an optimist and a fighter. I will seize the opportunity BMW offers me and maybe I can surprise people. I hope that will happen."

Next article
Zanardi to join DTM grid for Misano one-off

Previous article

Zanardi to join DTM grid for Misano one-off

Next article

Two exhibition DTM/Super GT races set for 2019

Two exhibition DTM/Super GT races set for 2019
Load comments

About this article

Series DTM
Drivers Alex Zanardi
Author Tom Errington