Nathalie McGloin was involved in a car accident as a teenager, leaving her with a major spinal cord injury. But that hasn’t stopped her from becoming a hardcore Porsche racing driver, because she is fucking awesome.
McGloin is the first woman with a spinal cord injury to get a racing license in the United Kingdom, a fact that—if you ask me— gives her a lifetime supply of Jalop cred. When people told her she couldn’t race, and that she shouldn’t buy a Porsche 911, she did both to prove them wrong, and now she hoons Porsches with the best of them in this video from Carfection:
McGloin races a PDK Porsche Cayman S, which has been modified in a fascinating way to accommodate her physical condition. The seat, for example, has been molded to McGloin’s ribcage to help her feel the car’s movement through her upper body, as she has no feeling from her chest down.
Instead of a standard push-pull driving control system seen on most road cars, where drivers push forward to brake and pull back for gas, McGloin’s Cayman uses “radial controls.” These controls call for a push forward for braking, and a push down for acceleration; and because these motions aren’t completely opposite one another, McGloin can mix them. In other words, she can blend forward and downward movement of the controls and effectively left foot brake: a great advantage for track driving.
And as if we needed another reason to present McGloin with a golden key to the city of Jalop, she’s even set up a nonprofit called Spinal Track to get people who use hand controls hooning out there on the race track.
Car culture is alive and well today, and Nathalie is making sure it stays that way.