BMW works driver and brand ambassador Alessandro Zanardi will race an M4 DTM in the November 22–24 Super GT x DTM Dream Race on the Fuji circuit in Japan. Three M4 DTMs will run at Fuji; the other two drivers will be named later.
Zanardi will race a specially equipped M4 DTM at Fuji. When he ran in the two DTM races at Misano, Italy, in 2018, he raced a car with a handbrake system and an accelerator ring on the steering wheel that allowed him to drive without his artificial legs. He placed fifth in the Sunday race. He ran a similarly equipped M8 GTE at Daytona in January 2019. The specific configuration for Fuji has not been announced, but it is anticipated that it will be similar to the Misano and Daytona cars.
BMW motorsport director Jens Marquardt said, “Nobody has forgotten Alex Zanardi’s magnificent guest DTM start at Misano in 2018. As such, we are delighted that he will now be returning to the wheel of the BMW M4 DTM as part of our dream team for Fuji. Alex inspires people all over the world and it is fantastic to have him on board in Japan. We are confident that he will cause just as much of a buzz as he did at Misano and most recently at the 24 Hours of Daytona. We will reveal the drivers to complete our trio at Fuji at a later date.”
The Fuji event marks a milestone in the effort to run Japanese Super GT and German DTM series together; the two series have adopted common technical regulations. Super GT cars from Honda, Lexus, and Nissan will run with DTM cars from Audi and BMW in the two races at Fuji. The races will be run in the 55-minute DTM format. In advance of the Fuji event cars from the three Japanese manufacturers will participate in the DTM season finale at Hockenheim in October.
Zanardi said, “To compete in the Dream Race with the DTM and Super GT is something wonderful for me. The word ‘wonderful’ is probably used too often, but it is really appropriate in this case. The mere fact that I am still able to go racing is like a gift for me anyway. However, the BMW M4 DTM is definitely one of the best race cars I have driven in my career. Plus, I will have an extra 100 hp under the bonnet this year. It is going to be fantastic, and I am extremely grateful to BMW Motorsport for this opportunity. I know that racing in the DTM is a huge challenge, as all the drivers are highly-professional and excellently prepared. And this time we will also have the drivers from Super GT too. As such, my expectations are not too great, from a sporting perspective. I just want to perform to the best of my ability and put on a display worthy of the event. On the whole, however, I am sure that this is going to be another great chapter in my motor racing career.”—Brian Morgan
[Photo courtesy BMW AG.]