Alex Zanardi, the Italian racer who lost both legs in a horrific 2001 CART crash, is headed to the 2019 Rolex Daytona 24 Hour race. At its 2017 season review Friday, that Zanardi would drive a specially prepared M8 GTE in the race, and that he'd be training over the next year. This is unbelievably cool.
Since his accident, Zanardi, a two-time CART champion, has competed with BMW in the World Touring Car Championship, and most recently, the Blancpain GT Sprint Series. He also took up hand-cycling to great success, achieving victories and earning gold medals at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, and the 2016 games in Rio.
It sounds like BMW will be documenting Zanardi's training in a "Road to Daytona" series leading up to the race. Apparently, Zanardi is already at work developing a new braking system for the M8 GTE.
This is yet another incredible turn in Zanardi's inspiring life. As journalists, we're supposed to be impartial, but there is no doubt we'll be watching the Rolex 24 cheering him on. How could you not? We can't think of anyone else who embodies the racer's spirit better. For proof, watch this hilarious, inspiring interview Zanardi gave to David Letterman in 2014.
We're rooting for you, Alex.