Page 26 - Dallara Magazine

In front of a backdrop dedicated to images of
Alex’ career, from racing in F.3. for Dallara,
through his successes in IndyCar, right up to
that terrible accident in 2001 at the
Lausitzring (
a bit of a rough day for me»
Zanardi and Pontremoli recalled the
innumerable incidents that led up to the
triumph in London. From keeping Dallara
personnel up late into the night when it was
necessary to optimise the hand-bike's
performance and aerodynamics on the
computer and in the wind tunnel, to the
driver from Castel Maggiore’s extraordinary
qualities as a “tester”, capable of creating his
own tools and modifying his "mechanical
vehicle" to make it even more competitive.
The hand-bike experience was highly
stimulating, Alex managed to involve the
whole company, and every single one of us
became a part of his dream
Andrea Pontremoli. An example of how
human talent and technological resources
can achieve the highest goals, while
overcoming seemingly insurmountable
obstacles. «
Another thing that brought me
even closer to Dallara
stated Zanardi –
the realisation that, when you’re on your own,
certain objectives seem to be pure folly,
whereas when you work together the sky is the
limit. Obviously, the targets you set must be
difficult, but not impossible: I might not have
been quite so successful if I’d decided to
become a dancer at la Scala after my
During Handimatica, Zanardi also tried his
hand at “GuidaTuPro”, a driving simulator
with controls that have been designed
specifically for disabled drivers by Ticon Blu
in Bologna, he also met large numbers of
fans displaying the approachability and
openness that are two of his numerous
qualities. «
A little blind boy
he recalled,
laughing –
came up to me, touched my
artificial legs and said: wow, I bet that hurt!»
The inimitable Alex Zanardi, who has now
become a TV personality too after presenting
on Rai 3 this year.
I’ve always been a curious and imaginative
person, and my accident certainly hasn't
curbed that – he continued – and if this has
helped me to discover and embrace new
interests, and to continue to live my life
through them, it means that, fundamentally,
I’m still the same person, despite my
From school to the workplace, and without
neglecting leisure time, today’s technology
offers solutions that make it increasingly easy
to live with a wide range of disabilities. «The
biggest problem probably lies in
customising” some types of auxiliary
equipment, because each type of disability
has its own special requirements», insisted
Zanardi, who was recently awarded the
Nettuno d’Oro by Bologna City Council in
recognition of the example he sets both in
the sporting field and beyond. «
From this
point of view my experience in motor racing,
and my passion for the technical aspects, as
well as my friends from that world have
helped to transform what happened to me
into a great opportunity, and one which has
brought some of the greatest moments of my
Unsurprisingly, the Dallara designed hand-
bike attracted a great deal of interest. At the
end of a very passionate debate, which lasted
well over and hour and a half, many
members of the audience wanted to touch
and photograph the prototype, which may, in
the not too distant future, form the starting
point for another adventure for the winning
team of Zanardi-Dallara. «
We realized
revealed Alex –
that even in its current state,
without too many modifications, the hand-
bike would be suitable for able bodied users
who simply want to take it for a spin, or even
take part in race. In fact it was my son who
made me aware of what good fun it is, since
the first time I let him have a go on it his
normal bike’s been rusting away in a
the power of great ideas.
And very special men.
Alex Zanardi
and engineer Andrea Pontremoli