Handicapped driver puts able-bodied motorists to shame on track     

Updated Oct 14, 2022 | Same topic: Automotive FYIs

PWD laps the Nürburgring with YouTube video to prove it.    

Persons with disabilities (PWDs) in the Philippines struggle with substandard infrastructure where their mobility is concerned. But in Germany, it pays to think twice before underestimating anyone you see in a wheelchair. 

INSANE "Disabled" Driver's Skills will BLOW YOU AWAY! / BMW M2

Misha Charoudin, who co-founded and manages Apex Nürburg that offers track car rental services around the famed Nürburgring, is also a YouTube vlogger. He found himself overtaken rather quickly by a BMW M2 as he was going about his errands, eventually finding the car parked in the handicap space just outside the circuit. 

It didn’t take long for Misha to meet the driver, a paraplegic man named Axel, whom he promptly complemented on his driving skills. Curiosity getting the better of him, Misha asked to ride shotgun for a lap around the ‘Ring (to which Axl readily obliged), but not before giving viewers a peek at the BMW’s cockpit.

Looking otherwise like a standard model on the outside, the car has been specially equipped to accommodate the unique requirements of its driver. Since Axel is unable to use the pedals, the accelerator and brake have been reconfigured into hand controls surrounding the steering wheel. 

Misha and Axel

Misha is speechless as Axel overtook cars on the straights and around the corners

Forward motion is handled by pulling on the acceleration lever, which resembles an oversized paddle shifter on the left side of the steering column. Meanwhile, braking is engaged by a separate lever to the right of the tiller. 

The modifications grant Axel an incredible degree of control over the M2, as he was able to maneuver it through a row of traffic cones with ease. He promptly let loose as he reached the track, and Misha was mostly speechless as Axel overtook car after car around the lap while holding the racing line. 

What made the feat even more impressive was that Axel was using the M2’s manual mode to shift gears throughout, with the car breaching 240 kilometers per hour at one point. Straights, turns, twists – Axel carved every single part of the Nürburgring with ridiculous ease. 

Axel modified BMW M2

Axel's BMW M2 has been modified with custom hand controls for the gas and brake

Even as Misha praised him for deftly maximizing every available space of tarmac during the run, Axel acknowledged that he still has a lot to learn before joining the Nürburgring’s ‘big boys’ one day. “I need you on my race team,” quipped Misha, to which Axel responded with a chuckle. 

“It’s cool (that) we can we still enjoy life (and) have passion (despite being handicapped), do something,” Axel said. 

Misha agreed that it was something truly inspiring, and that he had already featured other handicapped drivers who also successfully lapped the Nürburgring. “The stuff you guys can do is what other people who can still use their body can dream of, the way you control cars is impressive,” Misha noted.

Given the right circumstances, any person can turn a disability into an opportunity to still pursue the things that fulfill them. After all, the real handicap is in the mind.  

At Philkotse.com, we believe mobility is for everyone.

Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Joseph Paolo Estabillo


Joseph holds a degree in Journalism from the University of the Philippines Diliman and has been writing professionally since 1999. He has written episodes for CNN Philippines' motoring show Drive, and has worked on corporate projects for MG Philippines and Pilipinas Shell. Aside from being Philkotse.com’s Content Lead, he also writes content for numerous car dealerships in the U.S., spanning multiple brands such as Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Maserati, among others.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kapatilya

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