Incredible tech gets quadriplegic racer back in a McLaren

Quadriplegic former IndyCar star Sam Schmidt explains how he got behind the wheel again.

A crash at the beginning of 2000 left IndyCar racer Sam Schmidt quadriplegic and his life was changed forever.

But that hasn’t stopped him pursuing his passion and love for racing, running the most successful Indy Lights team Sam Schmidt Motorsports, also known as Arrow McLaren SP in today’s IndyCar series.

But Schmidt continues to push the boundaries, and at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, he got behind the wheel of a McLaren 720s Spider, with an incredible array of technology allowing him to have full control of the car thanks to a project led by Arrow Electronics..

“Right now it’s set up with infrared cameras on the dash, and I have little beacons on the chin, above my helmet or on my sunglasses,” he explained.

“And when I turn my head left, the car goes to the left.

“It’s fully adjustable, as far as how it turns and what not, but I also have a straw in my mouth that when I blow, it goes and when I suck, it stops.”

After getting behind the wheel again for the first time at Indianapolis in 2014, Schmidt has continued to surpass all expectations when he suffered his injuries 22 years ago. But he’s determined to go even further at the helm of a car.

“I’m thinking about maybe going to the Nürburgring, they’ve had talks with Le Mans about doing something there, the pace car or whatnot,” he said.

“They just tell me where to go and I’ll be there! That’s the way it’s been for the last seven years, I’ve been all over the world with the Corvettes and now with this.

“So I’m happy to go wherever they want me to go.”

Hear everything Schmidt had to say about his experience and his journey by watching the video!

Words:DirtFish Media

Photography:Arrow Electronics