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Former F1 driver Zanardi returns to auto racing

AP - Sports
Former F1 driver Zanardi returns to auto racing
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Alessandro Zanardi of Italy celebrates holding his gold medal following the medal ceremony for the man's road cycle individual time trial H4 category at the 2012 Paralympics games, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, at Brands Hatch motor racing circuit near London. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

MUNICH (AP) -- Former Formula One driver and Paralympic handbike champion Alessandro Zanardi will return to auto racing this year.

BMW Motorsport says the 47-year-old Italian will drive one of its cars in the Blancpain GT Sprint Series. The BMW Z4 model will be specially modified for Zanardi, who lost both his legs in a CART series accident in Germany in 2001.

Zanardi, who later returned to motor racing in different series before retiring in 2009, will race in six of seven races on the circuit.

Zanardi won two gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics in handcycling, a sport in which the bike is powered by the arms.

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