Today, BMW Motorsport has announced that Timo Glock and Bruno Spengler will accompany Alex Zanardi at the 2015 Total 24 Hours of Spa in July, the headline event of the 2015 Blancpain Endurance Series season.
All three drivers will share the BMW Z4 GT3 entered by ROAL Motorsport at the 67th running of the famous Belgian endurance race, held at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on July 25/26. All three drivers have strong motorsport histories.
Timo Glock, from Germany, has won the BMW ADAC Formula Junior Cup and Formula BMW ADAC Championships, before moving on to winning ‘Rookie of the Year’ in the ChampCar World Series. In 2007, he won the GP2 Series championship, and from 2008-2012 drove in Formula One. Since 2013, he has been a BMW works driver in the highly competitive Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM).
“When BMW asked me whether I would be willing to get involved in this project, I did not hesitate for a second,” said Glock. “Alex had already told me in the winter that he really wanted to do a 24-hour race at some point. Back then I told him I would definitely be on board if he and BMW were to embark such a fantastic venture. And now that opportunity has actually presented itself. It is an incredibly exciting project. It requires a completely different approach to usual. It is also a very emotional project for me as I have always followed Alex Zanardi ever since his time in Formula One and ChampCar. It is fantastic to share a car with him now.”
Canadian Bruno Spengler won the Formula Renault North America season in 2002, and has been in the DTM since 2005. Spengler has been piloting BMWs in the series since 2012, a year in which he became champion. In January of this year, he was part of a four-driver team that finished the Rolex 24 at Daytona 2nd in the GTLM class in a GTE-spec Z4.
“I am really looking forward to the 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps,” said Spengler. “I drove the 24 Hours of Daytona in January and really enjoyed it. But the fact that BMW is now giving me the opportunity to race alongside Alex in a BMW Z4 GT3 is amazing. It really is an honour for me to be part of this team. This project will be a great experience for me, and I am very motivated. Alex, Timo and I are a good team and I can hardly wait to compete together.”
Alex Zanardi has had an even longer racing career. In the early 1990s he raced in Formula One, before moving to the IndyCar World Series for 1996. For the following two years, he was champion in the CART World Series. In 2001, he had a serious crash at the CART race at the German Lausitzring circuit, in which he lost both of his legs. Since then, he has been racing using prosthetic limbs. With his open-wheel career over, his return to racing was in the FIA European Touring Car Championship. From 2004 to 2009, he raced with a BMW in the series and won four times. Once again, he returned to motor racing in 2014 in order to compete in the Blancpain Sprint Series, again in a BMW Z4 GT3.
“Timo and Bruno are two fantastic people, great guys and outstanding racing drivers,” said Zanardi. “I think we will form a really strong team. Everyone in the BMW Motorsport family has a very close relationship. However, one thing really touched me: when we started planning for the 24-hour race, everyone was hooked immediately. That makes me very proud, since they are all real racers who want to be successful. That showed me that they all believe in me and trust me to be competitive enough. They not only see it as an adventure to drive with me at this endurance race, but also believe they have a good chance of getting a good result for BMW. That is definitely what we will be aiming for.”
“At BMW Motorsport we usually avoid using superlatives, but this project in this form is unique and very special to us,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “We were able to turn a few wishes into reality. Alex’s dream of competing in a 24-hour race will come true. And Timo and Bruno have also been waiting to compete in a classic such as the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. The fact that they get to do this alongside Alex as part of this unique project is a real highlight for both of them. All three of them have a wealth of experience in many different areas. It will be really exciting to see them together in the BMW Z4 GT3. Our BMW Motorsport engineers are also fascinated by this unusual project. They are really enthusiastic about working with the drivers to find the optimal technical solutions. We are confident that we will have a great 24-hour race with this unique trio of drivers and our BMW Z4 GT3.”
In preparation for the race, the trio will compete in a three hour Blancpain Endurance Series race at the Circuit Paul Ricard in France on June 19/20. Following that, they will enter the official test for the 24 hour race on June 24. This year’s Total 24 Hours of Spa will take place on July 25/26.