Motorsport

Formula Racing Driver Takes Off Steering Wheel Mid-Race

Look, Mom! No hands!

You'll pardon the expression, but driving a formula racing car requires balls of steel. The forces at play are so great and the relative speeds so high that any mistake can be catastrophic. So imagine if you were driving one - would you take the steering wheel off at speed? Of course not. Because that would be insane. But not for Jeroen Slaghekke. The up-and-coming Dutch racer currently competes in Formula Renault 2.0 - a series which many grand prix drivers have used as a springboard into the F1.

With a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing just 192 horsepower, FR2 cars aren't as fast as a modern F1 car, of course, but at 4.8 seconds, they'll hit 100 mph quicker than most cars can hit 60. In other words, not the kind of car you want to mess around in, especially in the middle of a race with a dozen or more other FR2s on the track all out to get you.

Someone forgot to tell that to Slaghekke, though. When his Renault encountered an electrical problem during the Northern European FR2 championship race at Oschersleben in Germany, he took the steering wheel - which contains most of the electronic controls on a modern single-seater - right off and re-installed it in about three seconds while speeding down the straightaway. Check it out for yourself in the video clip, and pay close attention because it all happens very fast.

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