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Blind man drives 186 mph to new world record


Blind man drives 186 mph to new world record

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