IMSA: Zanardi, RLL partnership in play for Rolex 24
By Marshall Pruett | RACER magazine and RACER.com F1 correspondent
BMW’s service provider for IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will learn the names of its full-time and endurance event drivers next week during the brand’s traditional revealing of its plans for the following season, and if it includes Alex Zanardi for the Rolex 24 at Daytona, BMW Team RLL co-owner Bobby Rahal won’t be surprised.
“Obviously we’re going to be there, but we don’t know who’ll be driving the cars; those decisions are made by BMW, not us,” he told RACER. “It would be really cool to have Alex with us – he’s a good friend – but at this stage, we’re waiting to hear who we’ll have in the M8 GTEs.”
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In December of 2017, BMW announced Zanardi as a driver for its 2019 Rolex 24 effort, and during a recent test at the Miramas circuit in France, the Italian driver learned to use some of the new steering wheel-based controls in a FIA WEC BMW M8 GTE fielded by the MTEK outfit. With RLL having long been viewed as the logical entrant for Zanardi’s Daytona program, it is not anticipated that an additional entry would be required to accommodate him within the team.
Although unconfirmed, a dedicated test in the U.S. for Zanardi using an RLL M8 GTE with the new steering wheel controls could also be in the works prior to official Rolex 24 testing in January.
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