Tag Archives: Alex Zanardi

Driver Parade to the center of Spa, Belgium

Most race tracks out there want racing fans to come to the circuit to check out the beautiful machinery racing there. Not Spa 24h. At 4pm on the Wednesday leading up to the big endurance race a number of race cars leave Spa-Francorchamps under their own steam to drive a few kilometers to the center of Spa along roads lined with spectators taking pictures and admiring the incredible GT3 machinery. Instead of having people come to the track, Spa 24h organizers bring the cars to the people and the city center gets pretty crowded as a result.

I was one of the spectators in the center of Spa eagerly awaiting the arrival of the race cars. My friend Pol and I had just arrived from Flanders and this was going to be the first glimpse of the race cars I’d get for this event. Spa was abuzz with excited people like me. We sat down at one of the outdoor bars for an ice cold Kriek beer surrounded by race fans, members of the crew from various teams, and even drivers. It became obvious we were surrounded by drivers when a fan with a thick stack of pictures of race cars started walking around asking for autographs from young kids wearing team t-shirts.

I asked Pol to snap a few shots of me with the famous background, and then the cars rolled in, parked and the huge crowd of people quickly started swarming them with their cameras clicking away.

driver parade to the center of spa 0

driver parade to the center of spa 3

driver parade to the center of spa 4

driver parade to the center of spa 6

driver parade to the center of spa 5

driver parade to the center of spa 7

driver parade to the center of spa 8

driver parade to the center of spa 9

driver parade to the center of spa 10

driver parade to the center of spa alex zanardi bmw

driver parade to the center of spa alex zanardi

driver parade to the center of spa 11

driver parade to the center of spa 12

driver parade to the center of spa 13

driver parade to the center of spa 14

driver parade to the center of spa 15

driver parade to the center of spa 16

driver parade to the center of spa 18

driver parade to the center of spa 19

driver parade to the center of spa 17

driver parade to the center of spa 20

driver parade to the center of spa 2

 

Big thumbs up to the SRO, the RACB and Spa for doing this parade!

driver parade to the center of spa 1

Inspiration from Alex Zanardi

I try not to pick favorite cars or favorite drivers, but its hard not to be inspired by those that do something extraordinary like Alessandro “Alex” Zanardi’s gold medal at the London Paralympics 2012. His story is truly incredible, an Italian racing driver that had a mediocre time in Formula 1, moved on to the US Champ Car series where he had some success, moved back to Formula 1 unsuccessfully and then back to Champ Car where a high speed crash resulted in him losing both legs above the knee. Yet instead of giving up as an invalid he has continued racing both cars and cycles winning a gold medal and many hearts from both automotive enthusiast crowd and general public alike.

Racing is a dangerous sport for everyone involved: racers, marshals and spectators.

Ayrton Senna – a vocal advocate for safety improvements, lost his life doing what he loved thankfully Alex Zanardi survived his horrible crash and continues to pursue advances in technology which allowed him to get behind the wheel and continue racing. Nothing should get in the way of pursuing a passion, I respect that!