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Zanardi recalls special Brands Hatch moment ahead of return

Monday, February 17 2014

Blancpain GT Series driver Alex Zanardi has named his Paralympic success at Brands Hatch as one of the best moments in his sporting career. The Italian double-Gold medallist will be competing in a BMW Z4 at the Kent venue on 17/18 May.

Speaking to Autosport Magazine, Zanardi, who is a two-time CART champion and raced in Formula 1 for Jordan, Minardi, Lotus and Williams, spoke of the moments after taking his second Gold of the 2012 Games. He dominated the road race on his handcycle, after success in the time trial two days earlier.

"When I finished I kissed the ground in front of all the people who were watching," he recalled. "And when I was touching the ground, and I could smell the asphalt, and I could feel the heat with my lips, it was like touching an electrical cable.

"I felt a spark. And my entire life flashed before my eyes, because asphalt is like an element for me - like earth and water and fire. I saw myself going around in the little go-kart and my mother taking the lap times, and then I saw when I was driving Formula 3, then the difficult moments, then when I had to come back, and then finally the many great racing opportunities I had in my racing career. And wow, what a career.

"I wanted to have that intimate moment last forever. I was very lonely in my thoughts while the world was breaking loose around me."

Autosport.com subscribers can read the full article here.

You can see Zanardi back in action at Brands Hatch in the Blancpain GT Series on 17/18 May. Tickets are now available from £21, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information, or to book, call 0843 453 9000 or click here.