He even drives it on the Nürburgring.
Jason Watt, a Danish racing driver and one of the first in Europe to receive the Ford GT earlier this year, is in a new video taking his new supercar out onto the Nürburgring for the first time. Watt, paralyzed from the chest down after a motorcycle accident in 1999, didn't slow down after his injury. He made a quick recovery, getting back in the racing seat and winning the Danish Touringcar Championship in 2002 after converting the race car to use hand controls for accelerating and braking. He's also the proud owner of a 2005 Ford GT.
Watt had his 2005 GT, and the new GT converted for hand controls, allowing him to drive the vehicles. He now uses the new GT for charity events mostly, where people get a chance to ride in the passenger seat for two high-speed laps around a race track.
To withstand the charity gauntlet, Watt had special seats of his own design – a retro style evocative of the original Ford GT40 – installed so he could preserve the original covers. Other modifications include new wheels and tires that could better handle driving on the road. He also modified the exhaust, finding the stock system to sound too “civil.” Watt uses the car as you would any vehicle. In the video, he planned on taking the GT to Le Mans in France. He has a suction cup system to hold his suitcase and wheelchair on the roof. Luggage space is sparse in the new GT.
If you remember from when Watt took delivery of the GT, it had the gorgeous Gulf Oil livery. Well, Watt didn't paint over it. The green exterior is a wrap with the sponsoring bank's logo and colors.
Watt is almost certain he got a GT allocated to him because he said he'd be using the car for charity events. When Ford was taking applications for the potential owners, the automaker was quite clear it wanted to see the GT driven, and not kept in a garage somewhere appreciating in value.
The hand controls allow Watt to enjoy the supercar; however, using his right hand for acceleration and braking means he can't use the paddle shifters to upshift the gearbox manually. He has to keep the GT in automatic mode – he can downshift though.
The video is fun to watch as Watt drives around the Nürburgring for the first time since 1995. He makes a handful of jokes about the suitcase and wheelchair flying off during the lap. He's restricted in speed, which he doesn't abide by all the time. He does finish the lap with the wheelchair and suitcase still attached on top.
Source: Misha Charoudin via YouTube