Alex Zanardi and ROAL Motorsport have completed a ‘positive’ test at Le Castellet ahead of the Italian’s comeback in the Blancpain GT Sprint Series.
Zanardi, who was testing alongside his GT Sprint rivals for the first time at Paul Ricard, was testing mapping of the clutch, a special brake pedal and set up on his BMW Z4 GT3, which has been specially modified in order to fit the double leg amputee needs.
“Things are going well. But I have to say that for sure it won’t be easy”, said Zanardi, who won Gold at the London Paralympic Games. “I was expecting the challenge to be hard, but now I know that this, in fact, will be the case because in the Blancpain Sprint Series I am going to face an opposition of very fast and young drivers.
“Nevertheless I think we can be there and that we can do well, but for sure we still have to make improvements. In terms of the race pace we are already very close to where we are supposed to be. We are fast on worn tyres, but we still have to find a way to balance the car better with new tyres, in order to put together one good flying lap in qualifying.
“After this test we will look at all the data we have collected, and I am sure we will be able to learn a lot from what we did in the past two days.”
Roberto Ravaglia, ROAL’s Team Principle, said: “So far, it is still quite difficult to make a comparison as everybody is running with different conditions. You don’t know who is on new tyres, who runs with low fuel and so on. So it is not easy to judge how competitive we are.
“But Alex is doing good lap times and I have a good feeling. Between the outings, we also made changes to the car similar to those you do during a race weekend. This helps Alex to learn how the car reacts to these changes, for example when you change the springs and so on, so he gets used to the differences. Overall, I am quite satisfied with the work we have done with him in these two days.”