Despite losing his arms at the age of 20, Bartik Osalovsky of Poland now drives a sports car with his legs and has won many competitions. Photo courtesy of Polish News
Warsaw: Despite losing both arms in a tragic accident, the young Polish man did not give up and has now become a professional sports car driver, running on his own two feet.
Bartik Ostafowski had a tragic accident while riding his motorcycle in 2006 and had to amputate both his arms. He had already wanted to be a sports car driver but the accident came as a shock to him. But the lyrical Bartik did not let his dream die.
At just 20 years old, he was devastated by the loss of both arms. But they tried to see if they could run on their feet. He continued to do this for three consecutive years and at one point he became an expert in driving a car with his legs. Today, the whole world considers him a sports car driver and he is also the first professional sports driver in the world to drive a car on his own feet.
He changed his style of Nissan Skyline GT race car to become a leg driver. Modifications were made to the first engine. Then a separate gearbox was installed to strengthen the transmission. Now he controls the pedals of the car with his right foot and turns the steering wheel with the back leg. Automatic gears change with shoulder movement.
‘After the tragic accident I was looking for a solution, I asked myself what do I have to do to drive again? I met a man in Poland who had lost both arms and could drive very comfortably and so I got a lot of courage from him. Then I told myself that I would be able to drive a sports car in one day.
But he also chose a difficult position in car racing called drift racing. It requires immediate response and skill in maintaining eye and hand contact. Then the fastest turn in the track is to keep the car in line, which Bartik has worked very hard on.
In 2019, he took part in a competition in Poland in which 50 drivers took part and he came in ninth. But a year ago, he won the Czech Drift Series, which featured the most skilled professional drivers. That is why he is being given the status of superhero in Poland.