As the Rolex 24 At Daytona draws near to officially begin IMSA’s 50th Anniversary season, the sanctioning body will bring IMSA President Scott Atherton and motorsports legend Alex Zanardi to take part in a two-day tour of New York City.
Zanardi will be making his first Rolex 24 At Daytona appearance when the race is held Jan. 26-27 in the No. 24 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE car in the GT Le Mans class.
This will be his first race in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and his first race in North America since losing both legs in a Champ Car crash at EuroSpeedway Lausitz in 2001.
Following his accident, Zanardi, a two-time CART champion, went on to become a four-time Paralympian gold medalist in cycling, winning two medals each in the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Games.
“In life, it’s a question of opportunities, and I had this one, which is certainly one of the opportunities I would choose,” he said.
“The Rolex 24 At Daytona has always been the 24-hour race for me in my eyes. Being European, people would probably be used to believe that I would want to go to Le Mans, but in reality, I grew up as a race car driver here in America.
“I’ve always heard about this race, many stories from many colleagues who were involved at some points with this great event. I always dreamed to be here.
“I’ve been around a long, long time and it’s almost off time right now, but luckily, before the last curtain came down, here I am involved with BMW with a works machine for RLL, and I’m very, very excited to be here.”
Monday’s stops include visits with Time Magazine’s “The Drive”, Road and Track, Men’s Health, Reuters and Associated Press Television and a dinner hosted by the “The Drive” in conjunction with the Classic Car Club of Manhattan.
The tour continues Tuesday with stops at “Good Day New York”, USA Today, the New York Times, CNN and Sports Illustrated.
The group will finish the tour by ringing the closing bell at the NASDAQ Stock Market. That visit will also include a video on the market’s oversized video board located in Times Square.
To follow the entire tour use the hashtag #IMSAinNYC.