NEXT CHALLENGE

Andi Kapfinger powered by Petri+Lehr

Next Challenge. Petri+Lehr mit Andi Kapfinger
Next Challenge. Petri+Lehr mit Andi Kapfinger
Foto: ottobock
Next Challenge. Petri+Lehr mit Andi Kapfinger
 

Andi Kapfinger is a sportsman. A professional sportsman. Speed rules his life. Each "can't be done" turns into a drive. Particularly if it appears impossible. Constantly shifting boundaries. Give up? Not a chance.

Up to the age of 19, Andi was a snowboarder and extreme rider. Then a severe snowboard accident changed everything. Instead of landing on his board, he hit the hard slope with his head. Broken ribs and the thought "Hopefully I'll survive this." An artificial coma and waking up in a different world. Everyone is backed into a corner somehow in their lives; for him, it was a wheelchair.

Andi showed his unbroken fighting spirit in a mono ski. Self-confident, humorous and extraordinary. Sport is pure life, where everything comes down to the moment. And since the snow is scant in the summer, it drives him onto the road in sporting terms. His goal: to be a racing driver on an absolutely equal footing and at the head of the pack. What else!

With Petri+Lehr at his side, his desire is to take part in a GT series in a BMW M235i as part of the RING POLICE team.

He desperately wanted to be there during the modification in Dietzenbach. His expert input as a trained vehicle engineer and his open nature were both motivation and an absolute highlight for the technicians in the workshop.

Back at home, Andi purchased a simulator steering wheel's software to practice the automated process. 100% concentration on what's important: "Don't think, just steer."

With the BMW M235i Racing, drivers compete against identically designed race cars developed specifically by BMW Motorsport in close cooperation with the works drivers. Ten races a year are held. Any independent modifications have to be reported, comply with the regulations and be accepted by BMW. A technical challenge for Petri+Lehr, but the far bigger one was to design the individual modification for Andi Kapfinger so that it could be removed in a matter of seconds with just a couple of operations during the pit stop so that the next driver, a non-disabled driver, can head onto the track in the same vehicle. Truly a race car for all. That is what makes it absolutely new, unique and a genuine Petri+Lehr modification concept.

At the beginning of August 2014, Andi Kapfinger started the first test drives with the new modification in Zolder, Belgium. Improvements? No, everything is great. Petri+Lehr technical manager Jens van Bürk was also there. His eyes were also alight. "Racing, careful: you might get hooked!" he grins, laughing. He has been a 'Rennwerk' team technician for the past five years at VLN races and looks after two cars, a BMW 1-Series coupé and a BMW M3 - in his free time, of course.

The video on the Invader from Ottobock shows some wonderful impressions of Andi and motor racing.

Different people, one love: motor racing. Obsessed with technology in a rush of speed, this is the heady feeling of rising above yourself. "You're focused. It's loud. Then you change gears. My heart opens! It's growing together until you become one!"

The NEXT CHALLENGE for Andi Kapfinger.