No Fenders Scribe Tomaso incredulously meets the legendous' Alex Zanardi briefly at Mother Speedway on Carb Day, 2013. (The Tomaso Collection)
As Obviously the World’s a very Complex place, where we All face Unique Challenges…
This past weekend, if you Tuned into Any sporting Event or Television in general, as well as Mainstream Media, you were painfully made aware of the commemorations over the 20th Anniversary of 9/11, for which seemed nicely packaged to Tug upon the Heartstrings of Nationalistic Jingoism Honouring the Fallen.
Yet I cannot help thinking who are the Real Terrorists if the News I’ve just Heard and read is as Accurate as it sounds. With the Cost of War Project in association with the Watson Institute for Public and International Affairs of Brown University reporting on September 11th that the Price of Continuous Wars in the Middle East since that Fateful Day have Cost the U.S. Taxpayers $8 Trillion (minimum) as in eight Trillion Dollars! With Afghanistan alone projected to have cost $2.3 Trillion.
Not to mention the Horrific Casualties of Foreigners estimated between 897,000 to 929,000., i.e.; predominantly Muslims. And those are just the ones Officially reported.
Yet where was any mention of the Islamophobic, Racist Violence carried out upon Muslims living in the United States immediately following 9/11, and I’d presume still to this very day? Which I’d hazard to guess was every bit as Bad or Worse then the current day Xenophobic Attacks upon Asians over the COVID 19 Pandemic.
And while everybody was Honouring the First Responders for their Patriotic Duty. How come Nobody will talk about the fact that multitudes of those very same people have had to file Lawsuits and continuously toil in litigation in order to get Medical Benefits from the Deadly Cancers and other respiratory Ailments they contracted by working in Ground Zero’s Toxic Dump and persistent Dust Cloud that Blanketed New York City. As our very U.S. government’s EPA Director Blindly proclaimed their was No Health Hazard from prolonged Exposure in order to re-open Wall Street!
As the New York Daily News won a Pulitzer Prize for their reporting on the very subject in 2006, but Nobody wants to talk about that…
No, instead I’m thinking of how today marks the 20th Anniversary of that Horrible, Horrible Day at the Lausitzring in the former East Germany! Y’all know when Zorro’, aka Alex Zanardi almost lost his life in that Horrific Shunt with just some 13 laps remaining, just four days later…
As I can No longer “See” him trundling down the Pitlane on the Speed-limiter going Wog-Wog-Wog before apparently goosing the throttle and ultimately Spinning into the path of unsuspecting Alex Tagliani! As I believe that Alex was leading the race and thought he had a shot at winning…
As Y’all can read about my Fading Memories of Zanardi in the following No Fenders rant when commemorating then the 10th Anniversary of said accident.
But Zanardi has proven time again that he’s a Fighter, not only returning to the Lausitzring two years later to finish his final 13 laps in a specially outfitted Hand Control IndyCar, where his speed was good enough to have qualified 5th for the race! But returned to racing first in the European Touring Car Championship, (ETCC) debuting in late ’03 before contesting the Full 2004 ETCC season in a Hand Control adapted BMW.
In 2005 the ETCC became the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) where Alex scored the first of his four WTCC wins between 2005-09, before retiring from WTCC competition. Presumably in order to focus upon Handbiking instead, since he announced his intentions of representing Italy at the 2012 Paralympics.
As Alex first took up the sport of Handbiking basically as a “lark,” when he decided to enter the 2007 New York Marathon with only four weeks of training and summarily finished fourth in his category!
Since then, he’s won a Slew of Gold Medals for various competitions around the world, most notably winning his first two Gold Medals and one Silver medal in the London 2012 Paralympics.
Fast Forwarding Five years ahead, Alex was mesmerizing us again with his unbelievable exploits at the 2016 Brazilian Paralympics where he captured a further two Gold Medals and another Silver Medal in Handbiking!
Zanardi returned to the cockpit in 2013 when he tested a BMW DTM racecar at the Nurburgring, and has subsequently competed in the BlancPain GT series, made a One-off appearance in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) in Italy, and most recently contested the 2019 24 Hours of Daytona in a specially modified Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing BMW M8 GTE Saloon.
Unfortunately Alex was involved in another Horrific Accident in June, 2020 when he lost control of his Handbike racing Downhill and slid Head First into the path of an oncoming Semi Truck!
Since then, he’s undergone multiple operations, but has first regained his Sight and Hearing, then the last news I can find upon him, claims he began speaking again this January after undergoing another operation to “Wake” his vocal chords…
Meanwhile, I’m not sure exactly when I first had the thought, albeit somewhere after the start of this year’s IndyCar season. Either sometime before or after the Indianapolis 500, and certainly no later then Road America.
As I’m completely amazed over how whenever I listen to Alex Palou speak, his charm, charisma and timre totally reminds me of Zanardi! As I feel like I’m listening to Alex’s brother, which in some small way I suppose I am…
Thus I find it totally Apropos, Karmic or Symbiotic that Palou not only Dominated the entire Portland IndyCar race weekend, but won from Pole after that most bizarre start that saw him and the Top 4 Drivers sent to the back of the field for Blowing the Turn 1 Festival Chicane! But I suppose it should have been expected, since after all it was the closest weekend for an IndyCar race ironically 20 years after Zanardi’s accident…
As Alex Zanardi will celebrate his 55th Birthday this October 23rd, for which naturally, we All Hope for it being an enjoyable day for the legendous’ Italian!