- Title: Romanian in wheelchair dreams of motor racing glory
- Date: 1st October 2019
- Summary: CLUJ-NAPOCA, ROMANIA (SEPTEMBER 28, 2019) (REUTERS) RACE DRIVER CIPRIAN LUPU PUSHING HIMSELF IN WHEELCHAIR IN PIT LANE, CAR PASSING BY LUPU GETTING UP FROM WHEELCHAIR INTO CAR LUPU SITTING BEHIND WHEEL IN CAR, TALKING WITH TEAM MATE LUPU SITTING IN CAR, TEAM MATE MOVING WHEELCHAIR OUT OF WAY LUPU DRINKING FROM COFFEE CUP AND TALKING WITH TEAM MATE, CO-DRIVER STEFAN RAITA GETTING IN CAR LUPU AND RAITA'S NAMES WRITTEN ON CAR, SIGN READING (Romanian): "All those who follow their dreams prove they are courageous." (SOUNDBITE) (Romanian) WHEELCHAIR USING RACING DRIVER, CIPRIAN LUPU, SAYING: "Of course, we are talking about a pretty long period of time that I needed for my rehabilitation, but I took small steps. I started out as a spectator, then I went along to racing circuits and then my chance (to race) came when my team, Napoca Rally Academy, offered me the chance to get a driver's racing license. After that we started to prepare the car for racing. I can't say I just clicked my fingers and it all happened. But over a period of almost two years, the process of me becoming a racing driver was successful." VARIOUS OF LUPU'S CAR SEEN FROM THE FRONT INTERIOR OF LUPU'S CAR LUPU'S DRIVING GLOVES ON DASHBOARD CAR DASHBOARD (SOUNDBITE) (Romanian) WHEELCHAIR USING RACING DRIVER, CIPRIAN LUPU, SAYING: "At first the car was a normal one like on the streets so we needed to make some modifications. First of all we had to bring it up to the safety standards imposed by the International Automobile Federation. From this point of view, all racing cars are the same - mine is special as it was adapted to fit my own needs. Basically everything I need is in arm's reach - the throttle, the brakes, gears, everything. These are all custom-made modifications specially designed to help my goal of being a racing driver." LUPU ATTACHING STEERING WHEEL ONTO DASHBOARD (SOUNDBITE) (Romanian) WHEELCHAIR USING RACING DRIVER, CIPRIAN LUPU, SAYING: "From my point of view, the car's modifications are pretty easy to use as everything I need during a race is really close so can be used easily. This circle represents the throttle." LUPU'S HANDS ON STEERING WHEEL (SOUNDBITE) (Romanian) WHEELCHAIR USING RACING DRIVER, CIPRIAN LUPU, SAYING: "To brake, I have this lever which is mechanically connected to the brakes so when I need to brake, it is really close (to his hands). Also, the pedals for the gearbox are up here (on the dashboard) and my hand-brake is within easy reach." LUPU'S TEAM SURROUNDING CAR LUPU GETTING OUT OF CAR INTO WHEELCHAIR LUPU MOVING OFF IN WHEELCHAIR (SOUNDBITE) (Romanian) WHEELCHAIR USING RACING DRIVER, CIPRIAN LUPU, SAYING: "First of all I want everybody to understand that I do this for myself. It could be seen as selfish, but I am following my lifelong dream. Secondly, I am very glad that I can motivate other people, that I am seen as an example, even though I don't think that I am doing anything out of the ordinary. I had a very warm welcome in this field (racing). My team appreciates and respects me and I am very happy to have their support." VARIOUS OF LUPU DRIVING OFF FROM PIT LANE LUPU'S WHEELCHAIR IN PIT LANE LUPU'S CAR DRIVING OFF LUPU'S CAR DRIVING AND TURNING DURING RACE CAR DOING LAP
- Embargoed: 15th October 2019 11:22
- Keywords: Wheelchair user races ahead racing driver wheelchair using racing driver Romanian race car racing
- Location: CLUJ-NAPOCA, ROMANIA
- City: CLUJ-NAPOCA, ROMANIA
- Country: Romania
- Topics: Motor Racing,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA001AZ9LM49
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Although a swimming accident left Ciprian Lupu unable to move around without the aid of a wheelchair, it hasn't stopped him from satisfying his need for speed.
The 35 year-old from Brasov is Romania's first racing driver to use a wheelchair, racing in a specially-modified car in which all the controls can be operated with his hands.
After the accident, which caused an injury to his spine, Lupu said he had to take small steps to achieve his dream.
But in two years, he went from a spectator to getting a license as a racing driver with the support of a racing academy in Cluj-Napoca, Lupu said.
For him to begin racing, his car had to be fitted with a number of adaptations.
A special circular device on the steering wheel allows him to control the throttle, while a lever just next to it controls the car's brakes.
Lupu said he does not consider his racing career to be anything out of the ordinary, but said he was happy to be seen as a source of motivation for other wheelchair users.
He said he received a warm welcome from Romania's racing community and that he has the full support of his team.
Lupu was competing in the Transylvania Rally, one of the stages of Romania's National Racing Championship, in Cluj-Napoca on Saturday (September 28).
(Production: Saul Pop, Louisa Naks, Lewis Macdonald)
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