Quad-amputee Frederic Sausset, who became the first Garage 56 entrant to finish the 24 Hours of Le Mans, is set to launch a school for young disabled racers, with the goal of getting a driver to compete in the French endurance classic by 2020. (En Français)
The ambitious project, backed by the Loir-et-Cher department in France, will be formally launched at the Le Mans Test day in June under the moniker “A Steering Wheel for All.”
According to Sausset, who lost all of his limbs in a bacterial infection in 2012, the initiative, already backed by the FIA, ACO and French motorsports governing body FFSA, has gained significant traction in recent months.
“The recruitment process will involve drivers from all over the world,” Sausset told Endurance-Info. “It’s an adventure that is very important to me and… I began to think about it in April 2016, before my participation at Le Mans.
“I like the world of racing. [FIA President] Jean Todt immediately joined the initiative and told me that I was the ideal person to set up the project convinced me to continue.”
Up to 30 candidates be evaluated on the Le Mans Bugatti circuit by the end of the year, followed by a selection of six drivers in February and the top three moving on to a long-term training program, run by Sausset and driver coach Christophe Tinseau.
Sausset said the eventual goal is to build a team of drivers that have the ability to take on endurance racing at the highest level.
“The ‘Steering Wheel for All’ wants to open barriers in motorsport,” he said. “Everything will be done so that the candidates shine at a high level knowing that we start from a blank sheet.”
Further details of the project, which will also be open to engineers and mechanics, will be revealed at Le Mans in June.