The Red Bull Ring in Styria is not just a racetrack for motorsport professionals from Formula 1 or the Motorcycle World Championship, it also fulfills its raison d’être between the racing weekends as a much-frequented amusement park for notoriously motor-minded petrol brothers and sisters . Last but not least, it is thanks to the Lungau Reini Sampl that access to the full-throttle self-experiences has also been barrier-free for some time.
The sporty jack-of-all-trades, who has been paralyzed from the waist down since a skiing accident 30 years ago, has campaigned for the Driving Center’s fleet of Porsches to also be accessible to wheelchair users. He knocked on the already open door of the Red Bull host. Inclusion has been a top priority for the Red Bull for years. We recently experienced for ourselves on the occasion of Inclusion Day that a Porsche like this gives you wings with hand throttle.
Turn or push? That is the question that a potential hand throttle Porsche driver can answer, because there are two systems to choose from on the Red Bull Ring. The conversion from pedestrian to wheelchair user mode works quite quickly, and the driving center now routinely handles individual requests. “The fact that people with spinal cord injury can complete the driving training together with their non-impaired friends is really inclusion,” says Sampl, who became a top athlete after his serious skiing accident. After his alpine successes at the Paralympics, the 50-year-old has now arrived in motorsport. Regardless of whether it’s a rally or a circuit, the Audi brand ambassador is one of the lively racers in the starting field, even without actively accelerating. In addition, Sampl teaches his favorite subjects, driving and vitality, as a driving trainer for police or rescue workers or as a lecturer at various events.
Accelerating by hand in a Porsche 718 Cayman S is easier than you think. You got used to the “handling” in the truest sense of the word relatively quickly – and the centrifugal forces don’t care how the 350 horsepower is whipped up. The only really big difference to the version with the foot pedals: It is steered with one hand, since the right hand is busy accelerating and braking.
Positive effect: WhatsApp writing or telephoning without a hands-free system and hand throttle Porsche driving is not possible. Negative effect: When you’re drifting in high spirits, you can’t catch the rear of the Porsche with a courageous grip on the steering wheel, because you’re thrown relatively suddenly into the “side out”. No problem in the driving center of the Red Bull Ring, where there are enough run-off zones for erupting horsepower. And the instructor posted outside got to safety quickly enough.
- Information about the driving experiences at the Red Bull Ring (in a rental Porsche from 85 euros) at redbullring.com