Many people may believe that driving if you are blind is near impossible, however they could not be more wrong. Speed Of Sight is a charity which provides an exhilarating driving experience to people with disabilities by organising track days on numerous circuits throughout the country.
Where has the charity come from? It is all down to one man, nicknamed, “Super Human, Mike Newman”. He was born blind but developed a passion for cars, a passion so strong, his dream was to become a racing driver. This dream was understandably faced with many challenges as many blind people do not become successful racing drivers, however Mike brushed passed the nay-sayers and pursued his dream, which eventually became a reality. After working alongside a local Jaguar dealership, he was able to acquire a racing car which then resulted in 9 World Records over his 2-decade long career. With these records, he is considered the fastest blind man on land and water in the whole world. Mike’s great successes eventually lead him to believe he could help other disabled people giving them an unforgettable driving experience.
The Speed Of Sight garage consists of two normal race cars and two offroad buggies. All four cars are equipped with dual controls and steering wheels in order to aid the drivers during their experience. The buggies also have available hand controls so that people can use their hands for acceleration and braking if they cannot use their legs. The cars have been specially modified to tailor more to disabled people, allowing them to further enjoy their track day experience.
The Speed of Sight charity can provide their life changing service to disabled people at three different venues, the Three Sisters Circuit Wigan, Teesside Autodrome and Llandow Circuit. Here I will cover only the Three Sisters Circuit, but all the other circuits are just as good and as well designed as this one. The circuit is located in Wigan, hence the name, just West of Manchester. It provides multiple alternate routes; however, the main track thread starts of with small kink towards the right before the main straight. Then a swift right hander without any kerbs on the inside, after that another shorter straight before a second righthander, this one is long and depending on what vehicle is driven, could be taken flat. After another tiny straight there is a tight 90-degree right turn and another straight. The first part of the track is essentially a bunch of right turns broken up by small straights. But then there is a long 180-degree hairpin which leads onto another small straight. This next part is arguably the most fun. After the just mentioned straight, there is a tight left hander, almost a hairpin, followed by a quick left, right, left sequence of corners. Then there is another straight followed by a 90-degree left hander, then a wide right turn hairpin, a kink right, leading you to the main straight where we started.
Speed Of Sight is undoubtedly one of the most unique charities the country has ever seen, providing a fun, life changing experience like no other. The charity shows that disabled does not mean unable, and goes to great lengths to prove it, shown by how many disabled people they help to experience a great time in the cockpit of a race car.