Road America Pre-Race


23-Year-Old Paralyzed BMW Driver Continues Aggressive Summer Push


ELKHARD LAKE, WI (Aug. 4, 2016) – American paralyzed BMW driver Michael Johnson has few things he loves more than driving and being able to drive to his races from his hometown. The Michigan native is gearing up for this weekend’s Continental Road Race Showcase at Road America in rural Wisconsin as part of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series’ aggressive summer schedule.


“I’m very excited to race at Road America again,” said Johnson. “I’ve won here twice in Skip Barber, so this track has been great to me in the past. It’s a very fast and physical track and I love the demands it presents. It will be a track that puts our BMW 228i M Sports to the test but we are prepared and ready. Our last race [Lime Rock Park] continues to show how much we are leaning and improving. We still have a lot of work to do but we are getting there with each race weekend. I’m excited for the continues progress.”


Johnson and his co-driver, Cape Town South Africa’s Stephen Simpson, will take to the 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course during official open practice on on Fri., Aug. 5 at 8:00 a.m. and qualifications later that day at 3:45 p.m. The two hour, thirty minute race will be contested on Sat., Aug. 6 at 11:35 p.m. (All Times Central) to close out the weekend.


Their BMW is of course specially equipped with hand controls, provided by GuidoSimplex, due to Johnson’s paralysis. The car features a complicated brake, gearshift and throttle system, with which Johnson uses his hands to control systems other drivers manipulate with their feet.


In addition to primary backing from Universal Coating, Johnson’s racing efforts are also supported by: Arai Helmets, OMP, and BraunAbility® Wheelchair Vehicles & Wheelchair Lifts.