Glen & List
The Guinness Book will be asked to ratify a Blind Driver car LSR of 144
mph, set by Britain's Mike Newman in a Jaguar saloon. The speed was set on
the 1.9 mile runway at Elvington near York. The driver was alone in the
car, guided by radio messages for direction and braking points. The old
record was 141 mph.
The importance of this new record speed was that this driver had been
without sight for most of his life - the previous record had been set by a
sighted driver ( a journalist) who for the record run (and after practicing
in the car along the same runway) had his visor obscured with racer tape
ie. Blindfolded. Sadly the Guinness book accept both 'methods' as
comparable and the same for 'driving blind'.
For Glen it is sad too, because the speed measuring was done by an onboard
Datron satellite (GPS) electronic system - no timekeeper and lights on a
measured distance around this attempt!
The Blind Motorcycle speed record was set in England in early August on a
slightly longer runway at 165.85 mph by Billy 'the Whizz' Baxter on a
ZX-12R Kawasaki. Once again the rider rode solo and had two other
outriders giving direction instructions through a radio link.
Whilst most, if not all, racing sanctioning bodies would not licence a
rider or driver with such visual disability, it is pleasing to note that
there is talk of blind speed record attempts at the landmark speed of 200
mph being made in the future on two and four wheels. The driver planning
for 200 on four wheels is Mike Duxbury, who has sponsorship links through
his Vodafone job with the Ferrari F1 team. He wants to borrow Schumacher,s
motor car. Billy Baxter expects to hit 200 on two wheels.
Malcolm Pittwood, Derby, England
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