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Gloucester racing driver Mike Newman clocks 200 mph to smash blind land speed record

By The Citizen  |  Posted: August 19, 2014

Mike Newman

Mike Newman clocked 200.9 mph on his way to a new blind land speed record

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Speeding along an airstrip at 200mph would be a nerve wracking feat for anyone, but add a blindfold and the challenge becomes even more hair raising.

That is what new world record holder Mike Newman from Gloucester had to contend with as he cruised to a new land speed record in his Litchfield LM1000.

The blind daredevil has now amassed six Guinness records. The latest took place at Elvington Airfield in York, scene of Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond’s near fatal dragster crash in 2006.

Mike, whose step-dad Michael is a driving instructor in Longlevens, hopes his latest effort will help in his bid to raise £3.5 million towards his Speed of Sight charity.

“This was an amazing experience one I will always cherish," he said.

"Without the support of my team and sponsors, it would not have been possible.

“The record attempt was a great way to bring attention to Speed of Sight’s ambition to build 20 specially adapted dual controlled track and off road cars and a purpose built centre and track on a 33-acre site.

“This facility is hoped will be located in the New East Manchester area and has the primary aim of being able to provide a unique track and off road experience for people with disabilities along with their friends and families.

“It will also deliver additional programs, supporting collaborative projects between non-profit making organisations, social enterprises, and industry and academic bodies.”

Mike was congratulated on his achievement Gina Campbell, daughter of the late great Donald Campbell, who broke several British speed records on land and sea in the 1950s and 60s.

The car in which Mike clocked an incredible 200.9mph was also built in Gloucestershire. The LM1000 Gt-R1, a Nissan GT R, was rebuilt by Ian Litchfield, specially for the blind land speed record attempt.

Step dad Michael Newman, who runs the Freeway School of Motoring, said: “The danger was always a worry for us, but we knew Mike has been working toward breaking the record for 11 years.

“All the safety precautions were taken, including roll cage, fire suits, ceramic brakes and a radio link so Mike made sure it was as safe as possible, but there is always that element of danger.

“We are just so proud that he has finally achieved his dream.”

Next up for Mike is a water speed record later this year. He hopes to become the first blind person to pass 100 mph on water in Drew Langdon’s Silverline formula one power boat on the sea’s of Exmouth.

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