Feature

Blind man aiming for land, water top speed records

  • Speed of Sight

     (Speed of Sight)

  • Speed of Sight

     (Speed of Sight)

Mike Newman is aiming to become the first person to hold world land and water speed records simultaneously since Donald Campbell achieved the feat in 1964. The difference between the two daredevils is that Mike is blind.

Newman is planning to drive both a car and boat to top speed records on October 11th, which the World Health Organization recognizes as World Sight Day.

The 51-year-old Brit is a former three-time record holder, having previously driven a motorcycle to 89 mph and cars to 144 mph and 176 mph, marks that have since been broken.

The land speed record for an unaccompanied blind driver stands at 182, which Newman hopes to break behind the wheel of a $300,000-plus 650 hp Noble M600 supercar at an airfield in the city Lutterworth. Although he will be in the car alone, his father will be helping him with directions via radio from a chase car close behind. The current overall record set with an in-car navigator is 200 mph, achieved by  Hein Wagner in South Africa in 2009.

After the runway run, Newman will be sped to the English Channel, where he’ll take the helm of a 1900 hp Formula 1 power boat for an attempt at the current 91 mph water speed record a blind operator.

If successful, the feats will give Newman records on land, sea and air, as he is also the current record holder for most consecutive formation loops by a blind pilot. Hopefully he has room on his head for a triple crown.