Leicester

Mike Newman 'breaks blind land speed record'

  • 24 September 2013
  • From the section Leicester
Media captionMike Newman said his knees were wobbling with adrenaline after his record breaking drive

A former bank manager has claimed to have broken the blind land speed record by driving at an average speed of 186mph.

Mike Newman, from Manchester, believes he has reclaimed the record from Turkish pop singer Metin Senturk, who achieved 182mph in April 2010.

Mr Newman was driving at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, in Leicestershire.

The 52-year-old and his Speed of Sight team now intend to get the blind water speed record in the same year.

This would make Mr Newman the first blind person to hold both records simultaneously.

'Very bumpy'

Experts verified the speed using a laptop linked up to satellites. The data will be sent to the Guinness Book of Records to authenticate.

Mr Newman said he felt "ecstatic" to have broken the land record.

Image caption Mike Newman hopes to encourage disabled people to get involved in motor sport

"I've worked hard today and I've enjoyed driving the car," he said.

"This was challenging because the surface is very bumpy and you don't realise how bumpy it is until you are going over it at such a speed."

He drove with the help of a navigator who gave information over a radio link, and he did several test runs during the day.

"I knew I had got it on the last one," said Mr Newman.

"Everything worked right and when I was in sixth gear I knew I was going quick enough."

Mr Newman, who was born blind, used to be a business manager with Barclays but now runs his Speed of Sight charity full-time.

He hopes to encourage disabled people to get involved in motor sport.

His charity has designed and built the first of 10 specially-adapted track cars fitted with dual controls, twin steering wheels, hand controls and a hoist to assist people in and out of the car if required.

Mr Newman said he hoped to "give other people the excitement I've enjoyed today with the cars we're building".

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