2009 Ford Escape HybridEnlarge Photo
The 24 Hours of Daytona is one of the best endurance races in the world, with BMWs and Porsches battling it out in their class alongside prototype racing cars, all along a track that combines the high-bank ovals of Daytona International Speedway with the tight turns found in the infield course for road racing. And you know what? That isn't nearly as interesting as what one man in a Ford Escape Hybrid managed to pull off on that track.
Mark Riccobono managed to navigate the course, successfully getting the Escape around man-made obstructions and even those ejected from a van running in front of him. The kicker? Riccobono is legally blind and completed the lap using special sensor technology that takes advantage of his other, heightened senses to provide feedback. Hundreds of supporters, including some other legally blind fans, were there to witness the event.
His messages via Twitter were pretty awe-inspiring, including one as a spectator where he noted, "Standing at the fence at the horse shoe turn at the start of the Rolex 24. I drove that loop! #NFBBDC."
If you want to follow along with the progress of both Riccobono and the Blind Drive Challenge in conjunction with Virginia Tech, I highly recommend you check out his Twitter feed.