In 2012 Frederic Sausset had to have his four limbs amputated because of necrotising septicaemia. He then set himself an incredible challenge – to race in the Le Mans 24 Hours at the wheel of an LM P2 sports prototype in 2016.
Driven by his unshakeable passion for motor racing and by his invincible willpower Frederic Sausset set up the SRT 41 project (Sausset Racing Team). On 16 June 2016 he started the Le Mans 24 Hours at the wheel of a Morgan LM P2 specially adapted by Ligier Automotive.
A project as incredible as it was ambitious
This incredible project soon received the backing of the FIA and the ACO as well as people from the motorsport milieu in particular, Sebastien Loeb and Christophe Tinseau, who quickly became his right-hand man both in life and on the track, Dr Wolfgang Ullrich the Audi Sport boss and Jacques Nicolet, president of Ligier Automotive.
Frederic Sausset went about fulfilling his dream on a step-by-step basis. After training sessions at the wheel of a specially-modified saloon car, he worked with the Ligier Automotive teams to develop the modifications necessary for safety and performance to be adapted to his first sports prototype, a Ligier JS 53 EVO from the CN category.
His first experience in real racing conditions at the wheel of the Ligier JS 53 EVO
Frederic Sausset entered for the 2015 V de V Endurance Series Endurance Proto Challenge and he took advantage of his first season to get to grips with driving in real racing conditions before moving up to the next level, LM P2, in 2016 at the wheel of a Morgan LM P2.
In mid-June 2015 during the Le Mans 24 Hours week, he received confirmation from the ACO that he would be allocated the no. 56 garage – reserved each year for a technological innovation - for the 2016 race. He also covered a lap of the famous 13,629-km circuit at the wheel of his Ligier JS 53 EVO.
At the start of the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours in a Morgan LM P2
The Ligier Automotive teams worked on adapting a Morgan LM P2 to the needs of its driver's handicap.
After a very encouraging test day, the #84 SRT41 by OAK Racing Morgan LM P2-Nissan started the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours on 16 June 2016 driven by Frederic Sausset-Christophe Tinseau-Jean-Bernard Bouvet. By crossing the finishing line 24 hours later SRT41 by OAK Racing achieved an extraordinary human feat. Frederic Sausset at the wheel of the #84 Morgan LM P2 wrote his name in the history of the Sarthe event by being the first quadric-amputee driver to not only be at the start, but also at the finish of the Le Mans 24 Hours.
A step towards the future
While the incredible challenge taken up by Frederic Sausset might appear a bit crazy at first glance his passion, his enthusiasm and his sheer willpower quickly convinced Ligier Automotive to accompany him in his project. In addition to this great lesson about life, this adventure has helped Ligier Automotive to work on new techniques, develop adaptions that could be useful in the future in other contexts. This project could also be a source of encouragement for others and open up access to motorsport for people suffering from diverse kinds of physical handicaps.