Alex Zanardi returns to GT racing with BMW

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It’s hard not to love Alex Zanardi. The former CART champion and ex-Formula One driver who suffered the terrible accident at Germany in 2001 that cost him both his legs, continues to amaze and surprise on a regular basis.

The 47-year-old Italian will be back in a race car this year, in a modified BMW Z4 GT3 to compete in the Blancpain GT Series with the ROAL Motorsport BMW team. That reunited him with the team he competed with in the FIA World Touring Car Championship, where Zanardi won a handful of races.

Since he’s been out of the cockpit, Zanardi has turned to hand cycling and won two gold medals at the 2012 Paralympics. He also made the trip to the Indianapolis 500 this past year, where he was awarded his car from the 1996 CART race at Laguna Seca where he made “the pass” on Bryan Herta at the Corkscrew.

“Even after leaving the sport in 2009, I was still a racing driver at heart,” he said. “When I took to the track in the BMW M3 DTM at the end of 2012, I immediately got itchy fingers again. Ever since that moment I have been toying with the idea of returning to motor racing.”

And we’re delighted to see it come to fruition. The Blancpain GT schedule begins April 12-13 at Monza; a full link to the schedule is here via the ROAL Motorsport website.

Video highlights from Stage 12 of Dakar Rally, 2 stages remain

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Thursday’s Stage 12 of the 40th Dakar Rally not only closed the overall standings gap in at least two classes (cars and trucks), two other classes (bikes and quads) failed to get going due to weather conditions.

The full video highlights of Stage 12 will air on NBCSN on Friday at 7 pm ET, but here are some of the highlights from Thursday’s action:

CARS

2018 Dakar Rally: Nasser Al-Attiyah wins Stage 12 of cars

BIKES

 Stage 12 cancelled due to weather conditions

 

TRUCKS

Ton van Genugten edged out Martin Kolomy in Stage of, while Federico Villagra and Eduard Nikolaev both faced an uphill battle to finish fourth and third respectively.

QUADS

Even though the Quads were also impacted by weather issues on Thursday, Ignacio Casale, the 2014 Dakar winner, continues to make his case for a second overall victory in the quads.