Sports world, no matter from which part of the world and what level of competition, is filled with stories full of heroics. Injuries, setbacks, accidents - nothing can stop a dedicated sportsman. And our motorsports industry is no different! We have heard so many stories of comebacks that it all sound too mundane when we hear something alike.
But the story we are about to mention here is no ordinary story! It's a story filled with courage, dedication and desire to achieve the best. Frederic Sausset, a 46-year old racing enthusiast is no ordinary human being. Sausset has qualified for the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours, even after being physically handicapped from legs and arms.
Sausset suffered an infection in his arms and legs, the reason for his disability. Sausset will be the second physically challenged athlete to race in a major league endurance race after Alex Zanardi, who made his debut at the 24 Hours in 2014. He is slated to make his debut at the 24-Hour Le Mans driving a specially designed Morgan LMP2 car in the taxing competition.
“In July 2012 I was on holiday and I thought I had a slight scratch. I contracted an infection and within 48 hours it changed into a livid purpuma, and was not treated correctly due to medical negligence. The almost immediate devastating results of this kind of blood-poisoning are necrosis of the extremities of the body before damage to the vital organs,” explains Sausset in his official page.
He further added, “I was put into an artificial coma, my prognosis for survival was doubtful. Then, I was sent back to the Trousseau Hospital in Tours, in the Burns unit, in order to undergo the amputation of my hands and legs above-the-knees. Some really difficult weeks of physical and psychological suffering followed.”
Sausset is said to complete a lap of the Bugatti circuit in a mere 2 minutes and 5 seconds, three seconds more than that of 11 times Le Mans 24 Hour participant Christophe Tinseau. Sausset drove a mass-produced Audi RS3. Many businesses, manufacturers, bankers and sportsmen are supporting the idea of the prototype LMP2.
In an interview given to Fox News, Sausset said, “It’s been a long road since July 2012. The accident was a traumatic experience for me, my family and relatives. We had to take on all of that. I imagined this project alone in the corner of my hospital bed. I knew I could have been taken for a fool. But the project has advanced daily and it’s quickly turned into [something achievable].”
It's a huge achievement and inspiring story and we wish Sausset all the best for next year. We will also keep you update with his journey in the Le Mans 24 Hours, so keep a tab here!