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Blind Bank Manager’s Land Speed Record Aim

August 1, 2010

A bank manager from Sale in Greater Manchester will attempt to become the world’s fastest blind man.

Mike Newman is hoping to drive a supercar at close to 200mph (321 km/h) to reclaim the world blind speed record in Carmarthenshire.

It was taken earlier this year by a Turkish driver, Metin Sentuk, who reached 187mph (301km/h).

He will be guided across Pendine sands by his father, who is also his trainer, watching from a helicopter overhead.

Mr Newman experienced a setback during a practice run yesterday, after his car began to spin and suffered minor damage.

A replacement car is now being used, which has a top speed of 196mph.

Mr Newman, 48, who was born blind, is also raising money for charity, including Guide Dogs for the Blind, and to encourage motor sport for the disabled.

The business manager with Barclays said: “I’ve been a keen motorsports fan most of my life and this has given me an opportunity of a lifetime – a dream to drive a super car.

“In the process of that I get the chance to break the land-speed record for a blind driver, driving unaccompanied.”

The car being used is British-built, the Keating TKR, designed and manufactured by Keating Supercars Ltd in Manchester.

Mr Newman’s father acts as navigator by radio link, who for this attempt will be flying above in a helicopter.

He has been undergoing test runs along the seven miles of sands, the scene of other speed attempts down the years, in a Jaguar.

The car ran into a few problems during a run by a test driver on Saturday, but the team were hoping to make repairs.

The weather had improved after rain on Friday and Mr Newman said he was “excited” looking forward to the attempt.

Back in 2003, Mr Newman set 144mph (231km/h) record in a Jaguar in York then smashed that record in 2005 in a BMW M5 reaching 167mph.

The record attempts starts at 1330 BST on Sunday until dusk.

Simon Morris, chairman of Pendine Community Council said: “It is fantastic that Mike and the Speed of Sight team wanted to hold their record attempt on our beach.

“We are hoping for a great turn out on the Sunday of local and travelling supporters.”

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