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Quadruple amputee to drive in 24-hours Le Mans

media Frederic Sausset after his announcement AFP

A 48-year-old man that had his legs and arms amputated in July 2012 after being infected with a rare but potentially fatal bacterial disease is to become the first quadruple amputee to drive in the 24-hours Le Mans motor race. French businessman Frederic Sausset claims the race will "give new meaning to his life".

"There are only 40 cases per year worldwide -- 85% are fatal," said Sausset on Friday as he launched his bid for June's famous endurance race.

"It was a toxin and had a rate of necrosis of 12cm per hour."
Four months after his surgery, his dream of taking part at Le Mans was born.

"I had to give my life new meaning. What is more natural than to find a challenge that matched my passion," he explained.

"That passion is motor sport and has been ever since I was a kid even if I never had the chance to drive or take part in competitions."

At Le Mans, Sausset will drive a specially-modified car, a Morgan-Nissan LMP2. He will pilot the car using a joystick attached to the remainder of his right arm.

His ambition is to finish the marathon race, a staggering target for a man who only drove a race car for the first time in February 2015.

He will share driving duties at Le Mans with mentor Christophe Tinseau, an 11-race veteran and a third driver who is still to be named.

"When I see how far we have come, it's extraordinary," said Sausset.

He has already tested his steering system, which he says he first pictured when he came out of hospital, in lower-tier races as well as on the Circuit Bugatti without problems.

"I am here to announce my participation as someone who is a little different but who has succeeded at doing something," he added.


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