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  • Writer's pictureM.A.Xpertise

The Rolex 24 at Daytona, January 24-27 2019

How exciting to see Alex Zanardi fulfill his dream to participate in the Rolex 24 for BMW. The bleachers are still empty but it will be a special and unique weekend. - Apart from a particularly loaded business schedule. "A bit like Jimi Hendrix." The manner in which the handicapped BMW works driver controls the BMW M8 GTE is comparable to a virtuoso performance. Together with BMW M Motorsport, Zanardi has developed a special system that allows him to accelerate with a throttle ring on the steering wheel but also allows him to brake by hand, by using a brake lever. Zanardi has to complete – and be able to coordinate – extremely complex processes in every turn: “When you press the lever with your hand, on the same time you have to have a different feel with your fingers. So your muscles are doing one thing, and other muscles are doing another thing. This is incredibly complicated. Probably, it will be easier for a guitar player, someone who is used to use his hands in a different way. And while I am doing this, my head is basically focused on applying the right amount of pressure but I am kind flipping the throttle as I need to feel a little bit of power but at the same time I am steering with the left hand. So every single muscle is dedicated to handle a particular operation and synchronise this all. And then I have to change something if something goes wrong – if the car goes sideways or you go a little deep into the corner and you lock the front wheel. Then I have to reduce a little bit the pressure and maybe downshift a second longer. Well, at times it gets complicated.”

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