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Blind racing driver gets custom car from students

Dearne Valley College students have constructed a kit car for a blind racing driver.

Students in South Yorkshire are celebrating after completing a project to build a custom kit car for a blind racing driver. Motorsport engineering students at Dearne Valley College in Wath will present the car Mike Newman, who holds multiple Guinness World Records.

Mike Newman, Blind Land Speed Record Holder, to receive custom kit car from Dearne Valley College students
Mike Newman, Blind Land Speed Record Holder, to receive custom kit car from Dearne Valley College students

As a reward for their efforts, the students will race with their vehicle — built in conjunction with Rotherham company MK Engineeringon — on Sunday 18th May. The students will be blindfolded to understand racing from Newman’s perspective.

This isn’t the first time Newman’s made the headlines. Newman, 52, holds five Guinness World Records for land, speed and air. Newman’s land attempt was achieved in September 2013 in a Porsche GT2. The hand-built British supercar generates 650bhp and suceeded breaking the record at 186mph.

An ex-bank manager, Newman founded the charity ‘Speed of Sight’ to raise awareness of blindness, visual impairment and rehabilitation of the visually impaired.

Head Motorsports Technician and Tutor at Dearne Valley College, Tony Austin, says: “Our students and staff have done a fantastic job of getting the vehicle fit and ready for Mike to race and use as part of his charity efforts.”

The project was an opportunity for the students to apply their motorsport engineering knowledge, applying their skills in designing, fabricating and fitting a number of parts including rear wings, bulk head panels and seats.

To find out more about Speed of Sight, which relies on sponsorship for its record attempts, visit www.speedofsight.org

Update: The original version of this article stated that the land speed record was achieved in October 2011 in a Noble M600. This was incorrect. The actual record was achieved September 2013 in a Porsche Carrera GT.

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