Living legend Alex Zanardi will be competing at the 24 hours of Daytona race in January aboard the BMW M8 GTE. The Italian driver has already completed a set of tests aboard his specially modified car and he declared himself satisfied with the way things turned out. This will be his first race in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and his first race in North America since  2001.

Ahead of the 50th IMSA Anniversary season, IMSA President Scott Atherton and motorsports legend Alex Zanardi to take part in a two-day tour of New York City.

“The Rolex 24 At Daytona has always been the 24-hour race for me in my eyes,” Zanardi told Sportscar365. “Being European, people would probably be used to believe that I would want to go to Le Mans, but in reality, I grew up as a race car driver here in America.”

“I’ve always heard about this race, many stories from many colleagues who were involved at some points with this great event. I always dreamed to be here.”

Monday’s stops include visits with Time Magazine’s “The Drive”, Road and Track, Men’s Health, Reuters and Associated Press Television, and The Drive.

The tour continues Tuesday with stops at “Good Day New York”, USA Today, the New York Times, CNN and Sports Illustrated.

The group will finish the tour by ringing the closing bell at the NASDAQ Stock Market. That visit will also include a video on the market’s oversized video board located in Times Square.

To follow the entire tour use the hashtag #IMSAinNYC.

The M8 GTE Zanardi will drive at Daytona has been modified for his needs. Braking is performed using a lever, which he operates with his right arm. The special steering wheel allows Zanardi to accelerate using a gas ring and to change gear using shift paddles. The gas mechanism at the steering wheel, proven in DTM, has been adapted to the much more complex steering wheel in the BMW M8 GTE. The brake lever also has a button, with which Zanardi can shift down through the gears when braking into corners.

Zanardi will be making his first Rolex 24 At Daytona appearance when the race is held Jan. 26-27 in the No. 24 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE car in the GT Le Mans class.