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Blind man drives 186 mph to new world record

September 27, 2013

Being born blind hasn't stopped Mike Newman from his dream of going fast. A former bank manager from Manchester, England, Newman has battled for the past few years to demonstrate his love of motorsports and pursue the land-speed record for a blind driver. After holding the title briefly back in 2010, Newman climbed aboard a Porsche 911 GT2 earlier this week, dug deep and found the speed he needed — 186 mph, to be exact.

Newman left his career in banking to focus on his own charity, Speed of Sight -- helping others with disabilities get into motorsport by developing specially-adapted track cars. It's taken a number of years for Newman to reclaim his title, failing to surpass the 182-mph mark set by Turkish pop singer Metis Sentruk. During this record attempt, however, Newman had little doubt he was successful: "Everything worked right, and when I was in sixth gear, I knew I was going quick enough."

Driving at the Bruntingthorpe Proving Grounds, Newman enlisted the help of a navigator aboard a chase car equipped with a radio, helping him keep the 911 centered on the long stretch of asphalt: "This was challenging because the surface is very bumpy, and you don't realize how bumpy it is until you are going over it at such a speed," he said.

Next on the list for the valorous Mancunian is an attempt at the blind water speed record -- aiming to become the first person to hold both records simultaneously. Regardless of how that bid goes, Newman remains a remarkable inspiration.

Photo: Facebook -- Speed of Sight - Mike Newman