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Zanardi in gearbox switch

Alex Zanardi has revealed that he will switch to a sequential gearbox for the 2009 World Touring Car Championship season.

The Italian will become the first BMW works driver to use the 'box during the season ahead, with the remaining five drivers all electing to stick with the traditional 'H' pattern box.

Zanardi's decision to switch to the X-Trac unit comes after testing over the winter but it will see the popular ex-F1 race hit with a 30 kilo weight penalty as set out in the technical regulations.

"In spite of the weight, the car is well balanced and lap times are already close compared to the old gearbox that sometimes made my life harder,” he said. “One good example is the Melco hairpin at Macau, where BMW drivers use the clutch to get around quicker. I cannot use the clutch pedal and have a lot of other things to do with my hand controls, and this cost me three or four tenths in that corner only.

“With the sequential gearbox this issue will be solved.”


Related Pictures

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Alex Zanardi during testing in Spain [Pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Franz Engstler - Liqui Moly BMW 320si [credit: FIA WTCC]
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Tom Coronel (ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TC) wins race 2 at Suzuka, Japan on Sunday, September 22 2013. (Photo Credit: WTCC Media)
Tom Coronel (ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TC) wins race 2 at Suzuka, Japan on Sunday, September 22 2013. (Photo Credit: WTCC Media)
General Honda Civic WTCC team and paddock atmosphere in Japan - Sunday, September 22 2013. (Photo Copyright: Honda Europe / Naoki Kobayashi)
Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team`s Tiago Monteiro in action in race 1 in Japan - Sunday, September 22 2013. (Photo Copyright: Honda Europe / Naoki Kobayashi)
Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team`s Tiago Monteiro on the starting grid for race 1 in Japan - Sunday, September 22 2013. (Photo Copyright: Honda Europe / Naoki Kobayashi)
Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team Tiago Monteiro Sunday, September 22 2013. (Photo Copyright: Honda Europe / Naoki Kobayashi)
Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team`s Gabriele Tarquini Sunday, September 22 2013. (Photo Copyright: Honda Europe / Naoki Kobayashi)
Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team driver Takuya Izawa Sunday, September 22 2013. (Photo Copyright: Honda Europe / Naoki Kobayashi)
Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team`s Tiago Monteiro at Suzuka, Japan. Sunday, September 22 2013. (Photo Copyright: Honda Europe / Naoki Kobayashi)
Tom Coronel - ROAL BMW 320 TC [Pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Alex MacDowall - bamboo engineering Chevrolet Cruze [Pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Mehdi Bennani - Proteam BMW 320 TC [Pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Jose Maria Lopez - Wiechers Sport, BMW 320 TC [Pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Alex MacDowall - bamboo engineering Chevrolet Cruze [Pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Alex MacDowall - bamboo engineering Chevrolet Cruze [Pic credit: FIA WTCC]

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