Too many times we associate what athletes do in sports as inspiring. We throw that word around without far to frequently. Alex Zanardi is an actual inspiration. On September 15, 2001 he was involved in a horrible accident that resulted in both his legs being amputated below the knee. To many that would be the end of their sporting career, let alone motor racing. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, Zinardi accepted what happened to him and pushed forward. Less than 2 years after his accident he was racing touring cars. In 2012 He won 2 Gold Medals and 1 Silver at the London Paralympic Games, duplicating the feat in 2016 in Rio.
Zanardi recently made his return to GT racing in Sunday’s Italian GT Championship season finale in Mugello. The car was a brand new, full bore BMW M6 GT3 car (slightly modified to meet his unique needs). You would applaud him for simply finishing the race, however this is Alex Zanardi. Zanardi doesn’t simply go out for participation medals. If he’s in it, he’s in it to win. That is exactly what he did. After finishing 6th in the first race of the weekend he came back to claim victory in the 2nd race. It is difficult enough to win GT3 races. let alone being away from racing for over a year (Zanardi took the time off to train for the Paralympics).
“There are no words to describe what I feel,” Zanardi said. “Today I saw the sun setting and it never looked that beautiful. What a year, not only what a day. Once more I enjoyed beautiful moments in Rio de Janeiro, and now just jumping into this beautiful car was amazing. But to win the race is something else. It is unbelievable. I want to thank all the guys in Munich, who did an amazing effort in getting this beautiful BMW M6 GT3 ready for me with everything I needed.”
Neither BMW or Zanardi would comment on when the Italian might race again. However I think it is safe to say the entire community congratulates and can not wait to see Zanaridi race again.