Blind driver breaks 300 kmh barrier

Last updated 14:40 14/08/2014

Former banker Mike Newman, who is blind, pushes heavily modified Nissan GT-R to new speed records.

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British adventurer Mike Newman has broken his own record for the fastest speed set by a blind driver.

Newman, 52, drove a heavily modified Nissan GT-R at more than 320 kmh on a retired RAF landing strip near York on Tuesday.

He told Britain's 5 News the record was the result of close communication with his father, who followed him down the runway in a second vehicle.

"We use a chase car which obviously has a driver in it, and a navigator," Newman says.

"It's the driver's job to keep up with me, and the navigator communicates through a radio link into my helmet."

His record-breaking Nissan was prepared by Litchfield Motors in the UK, gaining a turbocharged 820kW V6 engine expanded from 3.8 to 4.6 litres of capacity, a full roll cage, ceramic brakes and many other modifications.  

Newman set his previous benchmark of 299 kmh behind the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT2 at the Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground in September 2013.

This attempt resulted in a new record with a two-way average speed of 323 kmh, with peak speeds nudging 328 kmh.

"It was amazing, it was awesome," he says.

"I've been trying to do it for many years, at last I've done it."

The 52-year-old former banker was born blind and now runs Speed of Sight, a charity dedicated to breaking down misconceptions surrounding people with impaired vision.

He has previously set the blind land speed record on three occasions, along with similar records for motorcycles and power boats.

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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