Zanardi: To race with a lot of friends is a special feeling

Three racing greats – Rubens Barrichello, Alex Zanardi and Fernando Alonso all three Formula 1 drivers at some point – have reunited at this weekend on the occasion of the Roar Before the Rolex 24 at Daytona, curtain-raiser to the 2019 Daytona 24 Hours at the end of the month.

Alonso is driving for Wayne Taylor Racing, sharing the #10 Minolta Cadillac with Kamui Kobayashi and full-time co-drivers Jordan Taylor and Renger van der Zande. Barrichello will drive the #85 JDC Miller Cadillac with Tristan Vautier and Misha Goikhberg.

Paralympic gold medalist and all-around superhero Zanardi, writing yet another chapter in his remarkable life, makes his debut at the legendary race sharing the #24 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE with John Edwards, Jesse Krohn and Mozzie Mostert.

Speaking ahead of his second Daytona 24 Hours foray, last year he made his debut with United Autosports Ligier, Alonso made clear his intent, “This is undoubtedly one of the greatest races in American and world motorsport. Returning to the United States is always special.”

“The atmosphere created by the fans is unique throughout an incredible weekend. I really hope to fight for the win, as well as having fun and putting a smile on the fans’ faces,” added the Spaniard who quit F1 at the end of last season.

Zanardi said of his first sportscar adventure at the legendary venue in Florida, “My goal is to leave the circuit with a smile on my face. Quite frankly, I’m so ignorant of what I’m about to do. To be in the same field with a lot of friends is a special feeling. It’s another fantastic chapter in a very fortunate life. I’m very grateful to BMW for having organized this.”