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Zanardi returns to motor racing in Blancpain Sprint Series

Tuesday, January 21 2014

Brands Hatch hero Alex Zanardi will return to motorsport competition this year in the Blancpain Sprint Series, which heads to the Kent circuit on 17/18 May.

The Italian, who won two Gold medals at the venue during the 2012 Paralympic Games, will make a full-time comeback with the ROAL Motorsport team, with whom he drove under the Ravaglia Motorsport banner in the World Touring Car Championship.  The deal also marks a return to BMW machinery, and Zanardi will be racing a factory-supported V8-powered Z4 fitted with hand controls.

Taking advantage of a rule change designed to encourage physically-challenged drivers, the former Formula 1 driver and double CART champion will be driving the specially-adapted car alone in the one-hour races.

Zanardi will be competing in the series whilst training for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio and is expected to enter six of the seven rounds, including the Brands Hatch races.

"When I took to the track in the DTM car (during a BMW test) at the end of 2012, I immediately got itchy fingers again," Zanardi told Autosport. "Ever since that moment, I have been toying with the idea of returning to motor racing.

"Together with BMW, we have looked at various options and I am pleased that it has worked out with my old friends at ROAL Motorsport."

BMW Motorsport boss Jens Marquardt added: "I cannot express how delighted I am that one of the greatest heroes in the history of BMW Motorsport is returning to the cockpit of one of our racing cars. From both a human and a sporting aspect, Alex is a role model to all of us."

Tickets for the Blancpain Sprint Series at Brands Hatch on 17/18 May will be available shortly. In the meantime Brands Hatch and MSV four wheel season passes are on sale. Click here for more details.