- Bartek Ostałowski is a Polish professional drifter with a unique skill.
- After losing both his arms in a motorcycle accident, Bartek learned to drive with the use of only his feet.
- Using a specially modified Nissan Skyline, he competes in professional drifting competitions.
Following is a transcript of the video.
How a professional drifter drives with his feet.
Narrator: While most recognise drifting as a driving technique performed by only the most skillful motorists, over the past three decades it’s quickly become one of the most popular competitive motorsports worldwide. Organised competitions are judge-based, with participants receiving points for style, speed, execution, and more.
One of the most famous rising young stars in the sport today is Polish driver Bartek Ostalowski. However, unlike his fellow competitors, Bartek operates his car using his feet. After losing both his arms in a motorcycle accident at the age of 20, the up-and-coming racer persevered to continue his pursuit of a career in motorsports.
Bartek Ostałowski: After my accident, I was looking for a solution. I asked myself, if I wanted to race again what would I need to do? I heard about someone in Poland who, like me, had no arms, but he drove a car on a daily basis with no problem. After meeting him, my dream and passion for motorsports was alive and strong, and I made the decision to return to racing one day.
Narrator: Bartek would go on to learn how to drive with his feet alone, eventually becoming the first driver with no arms to earn his international racing licence. It was then that he decided to turn his career up a notch. By using a specially modified Nissan Skyline, he found success in the sport of drifting.
Bartek: My Nissan Skyline is a completely amazing car. I saw this car for the first time in a “Fast & Furious” movie. In our model, we changed the engine to a big V8. Here, I have a special shifter. If I need to change a gear, I push forward or backward using my shoulder. Also very important is my position – the position of the seat, so that I have enough space to easily operate the steering wheel.
Narrator: Bartek has racked up a list of accomplishments in the sport, most recently finishing in ninth place out of 50 drivers in the Polish Drift Championship, one of the most competitive championship series in all of Europe. The previous year he triumphed at Germany’s EuroSpeedway Lausitz, winning the international Czech Drift Series. However, Bartek and his team are not satisfied yet.
Bartek: My next step should be more wins. Like any driver, I’d like to win the championship.
Narrator: Perhaps most inspiring is the message Bartek has for other drivers with disabilities and a passion for motorsports.
Bartek: Of course I encourage other people with disabilities to get involved in motorsports. It’s a beautiful passion and I think a great form of rehabilitation too. So make your dreams come true.