Former bank manager Mike Newman has established a new land speed record for a blind driver.
The 52-year-old man from Manchester reached the impressive speed of 186 mph (300 km/h) at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground in Leicestershire by driving a Porsche 911. He received radio assistance with the necessary directions that had to be followed in order to claim the record. In an interview given after the attempt, Mike said "when I was in sixth gear, I knew I was going quick enough."
Born blind, Mike Newman worked as a business manager at Barclays and now his full-time occupation is running his Speed of Sight charity. The objective is to encourage disabled people to participate in various motorsport activities and through the charity he designed and manufactured a custom track car with twin steering wheels, dual controls and a hoist to ease entering and exiting the vehicle. Further nine specially-developed track cars will be built as a move to "give other people the excitement I’ve enjoyed today."
The previous blind driver land speed record belonged to Metin Senturk, a Turkish pop singer who took down Mike Newman's original record three years ago when he drove a Ferrari F430 and achieved a top speed of 182 mph (293 km/h).