Alex Zanardi wins on return to motor racing


Alex Zanardi emerged victorious in the Italian GT Championship finale at Mugello on Sunday in his return to motor racing.

The Italian had focused on his preparations for the Rio Paralympics – where he won two golds medals and one silver in handcycling – for the past year and had been absent from motorsport since the 2015 Spa 24 Hours.

He rejoined his former Blancpain GT and World Touring Car Championship team ROAL Motorsport for the Italian championship round to drive a modified BMW M6 GT3 for the first time, having previously raced an adapted Z4 GT3.

Zanardi finished sixth in Saturday’s opening race, then came from a front row start to take the lead of Sunday’s event during the pitstops.

The double amputee subsequently resisted the Ferrari of Jaime Melo Jr and Niccolo Schiro to secure victory.


“What a year, not only what a day. Once more I enjoyed beautiful moments in Rio de Janeiro, and now just jumping into this beautiful car was amazing,” Zanardi said.

“But to win the race is something else. I did not have the start I wanted, but I had a great car underneath me.

The double amputee subsequently resisted the Ferrari of Jaime Melo Jr and Niccolo Schiro to secure victory.

“What a year, not only what a day. Once more I enjoyed beautiful moments in Rio de Janeiro, and now just jumping into this beautiful car was amazing,” Zanardi said.

“But to win the race is something else. I did not have the start I wanted, but I had a great car underneath me.