Giffords gets behind the wheel for first time in three years


Editor’s note: This article was originally published February 10, 2014

Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords reached 105 mph at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas in her first time behind the wheel since being critically wounded in a shooting three years ago, circuit Chairman Bobby Epstein said.

Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, were guests of Epstein for the Jan. 11 drive, Epstein said. They have been guests at each Formula One race held at the Southeast Austin circuit, he said.

Giffords posted video of the drive on Facebook with a message that included:

“Driving at CoTA was a bit like racing my motorcycle back in Arizona—but this time, it was just me, Mark and the pavement. I feel honored to have taken this important step on one of the finest tracks in the world. And while I may not be Mario Andretti, I think I handled the road pretty well.”

When asked for details about the drive, Epstein said:

“It was a nice Saturday afternoon and the track was open. We headed out with the intent that Mark would drive a bit (he’s a space shuttle commander, and I guess there’s not enough places on earth that he can go fast)

“Mark drove a few laps alone, then a few…

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