The Nürburgring has become famous, or should I say infamous, for its treacherous corners. Apart from being a testing ground for several car manufacturers and performance brands, the 'Ring is home to various kinds of crashes. In fact, there are several videos on YouTube dedicated to compiling these crashes at the Green Hell.
Why am I talking about the Nürburgring? Well, despite the relative difficulty and danger that this German track poses, there's a driver that can lap the 'Ring with relative ease – and he exclusively drives with hands.
Meet, Axel. He's paraplegic, therefore his BMW M2 is specially equipped to be driven with hands only.
Misha Charoudin, co-founder and manager of a track car rental company called Apex Nürburg, met Axel by chance when an M2 overtook him at the track, only to see the driver later rolling on a wheelchair. Fascinated by how Axel manages to drive the high-powered coupe, he asked if he can ride shotgun with him on a Nürburgring lap. Axel obliged.
It's A Deadly, Dangerous Race Track:
Before driving, Axel explained how his controls work on the modified M2. Practically, there are two ways to control the accelerator, available for both hands. Meanwhile, braking is controlled through a lever for the right hand. With steering also controlled by hands, we won't blame you if you find this setup confusing – but not Axel.
As to which accelerator to use while driving, that depends on the situation but clearly, Axel has already mastered it. The busy hand operation is not an easy task for normal drives, let alone, on a hot lap at a dangerous race track. That doesn't stop Axel from driving hard, even reaching 149 miles per hour (240 kilometres per hour) at one point.
While riding shotgun, Misha was visibly in awe of Axel's driving skills – maybe even better than able-bodied ones he's ever seen before. So much so that he wanted Axel to become part of his race team.