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Zanardi expects Blancpain Sprint Series return in 2015

Thursday, November 20 2014

Alex Zanardi has given his strongest indication yet that he will return in 2015 for a second crack at the Blancpain Sprint Series, which will visit Brands Hatch on 9/10 May.

Reflecting on his motorsport comeback earlier this year, Zanardi, who won two Paralympic Gold Medals at the Kent circuit in 2012, selected Brands Hatch as one of the season's highlights.

"In Brands Hatch all the conditions were perfect," he said. "In spite of the fact that, after a crash in the qualifying race, I started last in the main race, I was able to clinch a very encouraging fifth place finish. Had I started the race a little bit further up I think I could have actually improved on that."

Zanardi was pleased make his motor racing return with BMW, racing a specially-adapted Z3 GT3 in the Blancpain Sprint Series: "I was very excited, as I always am when I start something new. After the long break I had after the 2009 season, it was a new adventure with a new car. I was back in a BMW, a brand that had already been very much part of my racing career. I was back with ROAL Motorsport, a team in which I have many friends and with which I have had many great moments in the past. All that combined made this moment a very special one.

"To see so much enthusiasm for my participation, to start again in a new championship, in a new adventure, to see myself again in the role of a race-car driver - this is what made it special. I have been connected with BMW for a long time - and the enthusiasm and support that I received made me feel a racing driver once again. That was a cool sensation."

Zanardi dovetailed his driving commitments with para-cycling as he gears up to defend his Paralympics titles at Rio in 2016. He also managed to complete his first ever long-distance triathlon in Hawaii last month, setting a competitive time in the process.

Summing up his busy year, Zanardi said: "For sure, everything can be improved, but I am pretty satisfied with the results. Together with BMW Motorsport and ROAL Motorsport, we showed some competitiveness and, without some bad luck, great results, including a race win, would have been on the cards. But this is life. Sometimes you may deserve something, but you did not get it. So all you can do is to try it again. And this a little bit the same with my story in para-cycling.

"It has been a great season, but I know that it is possible to improve. So next year it will be another opportunity for me to try again. I know the clock is ticking, I am 48-years-old and I can't go on forever, but I am very excited that, in spite of my age, I am absolutely convinced that I can keep myself at the same high level both in para-cycling and in motorsport."

Tickets for the Blancpain GT Series at Brands Hatch on 9/10 May 2015 are on sale at 2014 prices until Christmas, with free admission for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.