Alex Zanardi, Budapest

Zanardi: “I saw a lot of smiling faces”.

On Friday and Saturday, Alessandro Zanardi visited the BMW teams in Budapest in preparation for his guest start in the DTM races at Misano. The 51-year-old discussed his latest project with BMW M Motorsport.

Alex, has your trip to Budapest put you in the mood for your guest appearance in the DTM?

Alessandro Zanardi: “Yes, it was really great fun – and I gained a lot of experience. It was also great to see people’s reactions. I saw a lot of smiling faces and I am really looking forward to the races in August. However, it also showed me again just how incredibly high the standard of competition is in the DTM. I have the greatest respect for that. Despite that, I will obviously try to make the most of my start.”

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Alex Zanardi, Budapest

How did you react the first time BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt discussed the guest appearance with you?

Zanardi: “Honestly? I thought it was a joke. But Jens was being deadly serious. Then we go straight down to discussing details. I was delighted to receive the invitation. It is a fantastic opportunity. Asking me whether I would like to drive at Misano is like asking a cat whether it likes mice. It is going to be a unique experience.”

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The races at Misano are an important step on the way to another major goal...

Zanardi: “Yes, the plan is to race at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2019. That has always been one of my dreams. With that goal in mind, the races at Misano will play a special role. We will make a lot of findings there that will help us in Daytona, particularly from a technical point of view. Plus, it is a while since I went racing. For that reason too, Misano will certainly be an important milestone on the road to Daytona.”

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