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Blind Driver Sets 186-MPH Land Speed Record In Porsche 911


Mike Newman set a land speed record for blind people, averaging 186 mph. [Photo by The Times]

Mike Newman set a land speed record for blind people, averaging 186 mph. [Photo by The Times]

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If you thought blind people couldn't drive, you were wrong.

With an average speed of 186 mph, an ex-bank manager from Manchester, England has set a land speed record for blind people, the BBC reports.

Mike Newman, 52, set the record in a Porsche 911 at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground. A spotter in a chase car relayed directions through a radio in Newman's helmet.

"When I was in sixth gear, I knew I was going quick enough," Newman said.

Of his land speed record run, Newman said he hoped it would encourage people with disabilities to get involved in motorsport.

Newman retook the record for unassisted driving from Turkish pop singer Metin Senturk, who beat Newman's original record of 176 mph in 2010. Senturk managed 182 mph in a Ferrari F430.

Newman also assisted in a world aerobatics record attempt, according to the Daily Mail. He did the first of 26 consecutive formation loops -- each involving a maximum height of 2,000 feet and about 3.5 g -- before a co-pilot took over.

In 2009, blind motivational speaker Hein Wagner reportedly reached 200 mph in a Mercedes-Benz SL 65 AMG Black Series on a runway in South Africa. However, it's unclear whether that speed was an average or just the result of a single run.

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