June 19, 2014

Alessandro Zanardi back in the cockpit of the BMW Z4 GT3

BMW works driver Alessandro Zanardi (IT) has continued his preparation for his next races in the 2014 Blancpain Sprint Series. He got back into the cockpit of his BMW Z4 GT3 and completed two days of testing at the Slovakia Ring near Bratislava (SK). The 47-year-old
celebrates his comeback to motorsport this year in a specially modified BMW Z4 GT3, entered by ROAL Motorsport. In August, the Slovakia Ring will host the next round of the Blancpain Sprint Series that Zanardi will contest. His goal is to build on his stunning performance at the last round in May at Brand Hatch (GB), where he put in an impressive fight back in the main race, finishing fifth from 17th on the grid.

To be well prepared for the Slovakian race weekend, Zanardi and ROAL Motorsport conducted two days of testing at the Slovakia Ring this Tuesday and Wednesday. The BMW works driver took the opportunity to get acquainted with the circuit which he has never raced on before. With sunshine and temperatures up to 26-degrees Celsius, Zanardi and the team had ideal conditions to work on the set-up of the BMW Z4 GT3 and to find a good base for the race-weekend in August.

"Overall I am quite pleased with the outcome of this test," said Zanardi. "The main objective was to understand what this circuit requires. The weather was similar to what we can expect when we race here in August. For sure it will be even hotter then, but we have learnt a lot about what we have to do with the set-up in order to save the tyres and make them last longer. So it was a very important test and I think at the race weekend we will benefit from having been running here. Also some other teams from the series were testing here, so this was good to have some reference points. I am pretty pleased with my lap times. This test was also very important, as we made some adjustments inside the cockpit to improve the ventilation so I will be cooler in the car. It was a significant improvement."

Roberto Ravaglia, Team Principal of ROAL Motorsport, added, "It was important for us to test at Slovakia Ring for two main reasons - The circuit is new for Alex, so it was a good opportunity for him to learn it, and he got some more track time in the long break between the races at Brands Hatch and Slovakia Ring."

Before he gets back into action in his BMW Z4 GT3, Zanardi will compete in a race with his handbike. On July 6, the two time Paralympic champion and BMW brand ambassador will take part in the 'Maratona delle Dolomiti' in South Tyrol (IT). This cycle marathon goes over eight passes in the Dolomites and 9,000 participants have registered to take part.


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