BMW Motorsport has announced the names of the team-mates of Alex Zanardi in the upcoming Total 24 Hours of Spa. The Italian will be joined by German former F1-driver Timo Glock and 2012 DTM Champion Bruno Spengler from Canada.
Zanardi, Glock and Spengler will share the cockpit of a specially modified BMW Z4 GT3. Spa-Francorchamps will mark the first time that the trio takes on the challenges of a 24-hour race together. The car will be run by the ROAL Motorsport team, with which Zanardi made his highly acclaimed return to racing back in 2003.
The BMW Motorsport engineers are developing new technical solutions for this unique project. For the first time Alex Zanardi, who lost both his legs in a crash in 2001, will swap places at the wheel of the BMW Z4 GT3 with fully-abled drivers. Various modifications to the car make it possible to complete the driver changeovers between Zanardi, Glock and Spengler within the shortest time possible. The engineers at BMW Motorsport are also working together with the drivers to ensure the steering wheel, seat and pedals are perfectly positioned.
In preparation for the endurance classic, Zanardi, Glock and Spengler will race in the Blancpain Endurance Series round in Le Castellet (FR) on 19th and 20th June. The three BMW works drivers will then take part in the official test for the Total 24 Hours of Spa on 24th June.
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt: “At BMW Motorsport we usually avoid using superlatives, but this project in this form is unique and very special to us. Alex's dream of competing in a 24-hour race will come true. And Timo and Bruno have also been waiting to compete in a classic such as the Total 24 Hours of Spa. The fact that they get to do this alongside Alex as part of this unique project is a real highlight for both of them. All three of them have a wealth of experience in many different areas. It will be really exciting to see them together in the BMW Z4 GT3.”
Alex Zanardi (BMW Z4 GT3): “Timo and Bruno are two fantastic people, great guys and outstanding racing drivers. I think we will form a really strong team. One thing really touched me: when we started planning for Spa, everyone was hooked immediately. That makes me very proud, since they are all real racers who want to be successful. That showed me that they all believe in me and trust me to be competitive enough. They not only see it as an adventure to drive with me at this endurance race, but also believe they have a good chance of getting a good result for BMW. That is definitely what we will be aiming for.”
Timo Glock (BMW Z4 GT3): “When BMW asked me whether I would be willing to get involved in this project, I did not hesitate for a second. Alex had already told me in the winter that he really wanted to do a 24-hour race at some point. Back then I told him I would definitely be on board if he and BMW were to embark such a fantastic venture. And now that opportunity has actually presented itself. It is an incredibly exciting project. It requires a completely different approach to usual. It is also a very emotional project for me as I have always followed Alex Zanardi ever since his time in Formula One and ChampCar. It is fantastic to share a car with him now.”