September 30, 2005 Now here’s a different slant on the land speed record – the blind land speed record. Mike Newman, the current World Blind Land Speed record holder and his Speed of Sight team have now set October 11 as the date of their World Blind Land Speed record. The date coincides with World Sight Day on the 13th October 2005 and the team will attempt to better the existing record of 144.7mph with the aim of pushing the record above 200mph. Using a BMW M5 with the 155mph electronic restrictions removed, the team expects the otherwise standard car is expected to top 205mph, using the runway at Elvington Airfield in York, UK

Mike’s exploits have attracted the attention of the fastest man on earth. Andy Green, driver of the Thrust SSC Team, set a world land speed record 763.035mph, Mach 1.020 in 1997 in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada, USA. Andy said of the attempt, “As the current World Land Speed Record holder, I understand as well as anyone the thrill, excitement and physical challenges of driving at high speed. However, the thought of doing this without being able to see where you are going is just astonishing and takes the challenge into a different league. “

“I have followed the progress of Mike Newman and the Speed of Sight team to their current record of 144mph with fascinated interest. Now with the support of BMW and the use of a new M5, Mike has every chance of smashing this world record and achieving his ultimate ambition of driving a car at over 200mph."

The record attempt will be made possible through the sophisticated state of the art microSAT GPS systems communications equipment supplied by sponsors Scan Computers, Site Link and Datron Technologies.

Mark Hargreaves of Datron Technology said: "We are happy to continue to support Mike, the Speed of Sight Team and VISION 2020 in their goal to generate funds and global awareness. The microSAT GPS technology and telemetry system will measure and record all the vehicle parameters such as speed, distance and time as required by Guinness World Record Books."

World Blind Land Speed Record Holder, Mike Newman said, "Every five seconds someone in our world goes blind. Every minute a child goes blind; 80% of which is avoidable." By attempting to reach speeds of 200mph, Mike Newman will increase awareness and much needed funds for his chosen charity VISION 2020: The Right To Sight, a member of the World Health Organisation.

Their aim is to rid the world of preventable and curable blindness by the year 2020. VISION 2020, whose UK patron is HRH Sophie Wessex, are responsible for organising the worldwide awareness event, World Sight Day, which occurs two days after the record attempt, on Thursday October 13th 2005.

In August 2003, in front of a worldwide audience, Mike set the current average mile speed record of 144.7mph, by driving alone in his Jaguar XJ-R, over a measured mile. He is looking to smash this by taking the BMW M5 to speeds approaching, and hopefully in excess of, 200mph whilst alone in the vehicle and completely unable to see the road ahead. To discuss sponsorship opportunities, please contact John Galloway

Venue Details: Elvington Aerodrome (York Air Museum), Halifax Way, Pocklington Way, York, Y04 2NP

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