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Zanardi Satisfied after First Tests

Alex Zanardi completes second test in specially adapted BMW Z4 GT3…

Photo: BMW

Photo: BMW

After a first roll-out at the end of January at the Adria International Raceway, Alessandro Zanardi completed a second test session at the Autodromo di Vallelunga this week.

The 47-year-old Italian, who will race in the 2014 Blancpain Sprint Series with ROAL Motorsport, was happy with the modifications made to the BMW Z4 GT3 to suit his needs, as Zanardi lost both his legs in a horror crash at the Lausitzring back in 2001.

“Honestly, it is very hard not to totally show my enthusiasm, and I don’t want to sound too overconfident, but after this test I have every reason to be confident,” Zanardi said.

“Because not only the throttle mechanism, the brake pedal and the special clutch, but also all the other controls created for my personal needs are working so well we were able to focus on the set-up of the car. Just this fact is good news.”

However, on the morning of the third day of testing the BMW works driver went off on a damp track and damaged his car. The team elected not to continue with the test in order to repair the car at the workshop.

“We have been able to be fast on worn tires, we have been able to really learn the car and we have been able to make changes to it which helped us to better understand what we should do for qualifying, and what to do for the race to have a consistent machine,” he added.

“So we are going home with a lot of information, and it is going to be tough to improve even further.”

Zanardi will drive solo in the Blancpain Sprint Series this year, thanks to a new regulation for 2014 encouraging physically challenged drivers to compete.

Vincent Wouters (@VinceWouters) is a Belgium-based sports car racing reporter, providing coverage primarily of the Blancpain GT Series.

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