Successful racers make smart split-second decisions about what line to take, when to accelerate and brake and so on. So when recently faced with an electrical problem in his Formula Renault 2.0 car's steering wheel, Jeroen Slaghekke was faced with pitting and losing position or taking a chance.

Slaghekke is apparently a gambling man and decided to literally take fate in his own hands. Watch the video below and pay close attention at about the 11 second mark. Up comes a long straightaway, off comes the steering wheel and then, boom, three seconds later, the problem's fixed and the wheel's back on in plenty of time to take the left-hander.

It's admittedly not the most dramatic of videos, but that's exactly what makes it so impressive: There's no drama, no panic. Just quick, cool thinking that ended with Slaghekke taking 6th place at Oschersleben. We look forward to seeing how his future career turns out.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 70 Comments
      ImpulseGTO
      • 2 Years Ago
      Looks like he was just re indexing the wheel.
        Chris Currey
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ImpulseGTO
        Just reindexing the wheel...in the middle of a race, going 100mph. NBD.
          ImpulseGTO
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Chris Currey
          could be. You never know. It could have been off one way or the other that he didn't like and it was bothering him.
          Peter
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Chris Currey
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8siCAthFZw
        bhtooefr
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ImpulseGTO
        By the sound of it, I'm guessing he had a shifter problem - it sounds like he wasn't able to downshift at the corner before the straight.
      lobodogg
      • 2 Years Ago
      got a text from his wife.
      michaelnel4449
      • 2 Years Ago
      If he was in the middle of a turn, he wouldn't have been so calm....
        moorlockx
        • 2 Years Ago
        @michaelnel4449
        Even on a straight that's a very ballsy move. One piece of trash on the track and it'd be all over.
      k_m94
      • 2 Years Ago
      Is this thing even plugged in? Thing's calibrated out of whack. I better take it off so I can reach the reset button. No biggie, right?
        Myself
        • 2 Years Ago
        @k_m94
        I guess it works like a USB device. Plug and play. Or, in this case, ... plug and pray...
      ccdae5
      • 2 Years Ago
      As long as the alignment (the castor setting is good) it is difficult to turn the car at that speed. As long as the track was flat and straight and he didn't hit anything, that car had no choice but to go straight ahead. But, I know that the video still looks cool.
      BBLateModel04
      • 2 Years Ago
      Maybe this guy should look at History learned from other drivers removing the wheel while the car is in motion....... Like Larry Foyt ..... Sometimes it works and sometimes it takes you to a very bad place......
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      crimflame
      • 2 Years Ago
      So, are we all no longer aware that these new high tech steering wheels have a crap load of buttons and such on them, and are connected by a cord to the chasis of the vehicle... So if you pull it off the column, you may have lost the steering, but everything else is still controlled. I've rode my bike and let go of both handle bars to toss newspapers to front doors on both sides of the road, simultaneously. Thats about what this guy did. Big deal. Now if he pulled the wheel, and did a hand stand, then sat back down and continued driving, THAT would be very cool indeed...
        barney
        • 2 Years Ago
        @crimflame
        no doubt you were able to give yourself an enthusiastic bj too......well done loser
      IBx27
      • 2 Years Ago
      The solution is to stop making formula cars into tech-burden cars that drive themselves.
        k_m94
        • 2 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        They do many things, but they don't drive themselves. In fact a lot of that technology is banned anyways. Like active stability control, traction control, E diffs, inside wheel braking, movable aerofoils, and even ABS I think. And they are no picnic to drive.
        Zeus
        • 2 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        The solution is to just grow a bigger set of balls like the man in this video has decided to do :)
        warren,
        • 2 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        Whenever I hear someone complaining about technology in cars, I wonder what that person would have been saying in 1898. Presumably they would have been at the saloon, drinking heavily and proclaiming: "The solution is to stop making carriages with all these fancy 'mechanicals' that drive themselves!" Because yes, at the beginning of the 20th century, motor-cars were notoriously unreliable, so many people who were more familiar with horses were quite happy to stick with them, thank you and good day.
          Zeus
          • 2 Years Ago
          @warren,
          Exactly. I wish my car still had wooden wheels and was driven by horses. Pretty much everything after that was "technology." Actually come to think of it...the wheel is technology isn't it? The internal combustion engine is technology. Radial tires are technology. I'm so tired of hearing people say technology is ruining cars or technology is spoiling the act of driving. Like people who say the GT-R is a boring car to drive because "anyone can drive it fast." Anyone can not drive a GT-R fast. I was a driving instructor and saw guys in GT-Rs posting up similar times as guys in M3s. Who are these people who make these statements? I'd love to meet them just so I could put them in their place and post it on youtube.
          Zeus
          • 2 Years Ago
          @warren,
          Yeah PJ I know what you mean. I don't agree with the car companies eliminating traditional manual because some consumers really want that. I think whats happened with all this Nurburgring lap time garbage and Veyron top speed war garbage is people have lost sight of the experience. You can create an experience with a twin clutch gear box (Huayra) or you can create an experience with a manual gear box (Porsche GT3 RS). You can create a great experience with something home built for 50k (Ultima GTR) or you can create an experience with something that is totally one off and custom that costs a fortune. I've always said the most basic experiences are what make us human and that can be channeled in a number of ways when it comes to cars. To mandate one or the other is not right from a consumer standpoint. Let the person choose what kind of experience they want to have, but don't TELL me what kind of experience I am allowed to have, thats suicide.
          Zeus
          • 2 Years Ago
          @warren,
          My point is when the game gets consumed by 0-60 times, power to weight ratios, Nurburgring lap times, top speed numbers the designers are going to do whatever they cant to achieve the end result. The problem is that most consumers dont care nor can they tell the difference between 0-60 in 2.5 compared to 2.8 seconds. It's all about the journey in between and thats what the casualty is with these horsepower wars / power to weight wars / Nurburgring lap time wars. It sucks and the industry has lost sight of the purpose of the sports car. I'm writing an article about it right now actually.
          Pj Taintz
          • 2 Years Ago
          @warren,
          Pretty much. I Love the new tech! But having said that, There is something to the simple is better concept. It is nice to have more choices, not less. Having the tech, with an on off switch is ideal to me
      protovici
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think congress should look into this matter since nothing else is wrong.
      Bryan South
      • 2 Years Ago
      I would think if you took the steering wheel off the car would shut down. I'm sure this is different than F1, but in F1 I'm pretty sure the computer that operates everything in the car is inside the steering wheel. I suppose the car was going fast enough that if the car shut down he would be able to pop the clutch to get it started again.
        Rob Cook
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Bryan South
        F1 cars ECU's are not in the steering wheels. There have been several times where during a pit stop a wheel is replaced to troubleshoot a problem and the car stays running. Also all ECU's in F1 are standardized on the McLaren unit which would almost certainly lend itself to a standard looking wheel and steering wheels are very different between teams and even drivers on the same team.
        Pandamasque
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Bryan South
        It definitely is NOT in the steering wheel. I've seen teams try to fix electronic glitches with (mostly paddle-shift related) by quickly replacing the steering wheel during the pit-stop without turning the engine off.
      TheBull
      • 2 Years Ago
      That is absolutely insane. I realize he's got years of experience under his belt, but that's just crazy.
    • Load More Comments