Watch: Onboard with Alex Zanardi testing the BMW M8 GTE at Daytona

As if you needed any more confirmation that this man is a living legend

Alex Zanardi is a living legend; there's no question about that.

As well as being an incredibly inspirational and humble human being, he is also a highly-admired figure in the Motorsport world.

After losing both legs in a horrific accident in 2001, Zanardi returned to racing in the World Touring Car Championship and won on multiple occasions.

As well as winning two Paralympic gold medals at London 2012 and Rio 2016, he's also dabbled with endurance racing in recent years, competing in the Spa 24 Hours in a BMW Z4 GT3 in 2015.

The same year he won his second gold medal, he was victorious at Mugello in an M6 GT3 for the finale of the Italian GT Championship at Mugello.

Back to winning ways: Zanardi en route to victory at Mugello in 2016

Back to winning ways: Zanardi en route to victory at Mugello in 2016

Continuing his affiliation with BMW, Zanardi enjoyed a remarkable DTM outing at a rainy Misano earlier this season, and announced last month that he would compete at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2019.

He's now begun testing the car, and BMW has released an onboard video of him using the adapted M8 GTE to race around the famous banked turns and infield sections of Daytona.

As he adapts to a new circuit and car to him, Zanardi narrates the lap and describes which corners present the biggest personal challenge to him.

Watch it here:

It's important to consider just how much a racing driver has to think about anyway - let alone when you're taking a hand off the wheel to brake and downshift.

When you realise the extra upper body strength Zanardi requires just to hold himself in position; you have even more respect for what he's doing.

It's quite something to imagine he'll be completing double or even triple stints in this thing come January, alongside 49 machines battling it out at different speeds in their respective classes.

It's been a pleasure to follow his career so far, and I'll have teary (as well as very tired) eyes from staying up beyond my bedtime to watch him compete in the 24 hours on the 27th-28th January.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he'll announce a Le Mans entry soon too.

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Comments (7)

  • Incredible, between AZ and Billy Monger, what more inspirstion is there...

    #nevergiveup

      2 years ago
  • The track looks really interesting to drive.

      2 years ago
  • Alex Zanardi is a true hero and a great man.

      2 years ago
  • That’s really impressive! The bus stop has to be hard driving like that, I can’t even imagine when he’s doing it in a crowd.

      2 years ago
  • That's incredible. I can't remember who the driver was in particular but I believe he was a football player for the NFL. I was probably still 12 years old, and I was watching the Rolex 24 at Daytona on TV, what was the original Speed Channel at the time and this NFL player was racing for BMW. He had apparently injured his ankle and, BMW came up with a way so he would be able to engage the clutch and it was attached to the shifter, and all it was, some sort of a button he would press and it would get a clutch while he would down shift. Only thing to I believe is he was only able to use the clutch and set off but I guess constantly shifting down was not going to be good for his ankle while it was healing.

    Can't wait for the rolex 24 Daytona this year very excited like to meet this new driver.

      2 years ago
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