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Saturday, February 7, 1998 Published at 10:43 GMT


Driver to try for blind land speed record

A blind man is be practicing to break the land speed record for a blind driver.

Steve Cunningham talks to BBC News 24 about his land speed record bid (3':21")
Steve Cunningham, who is also a member of the national blind five-a-side football team, said he was taught to drive at the Silverstone race track in Northamptonshire and "caught the bug there".

He will begin by testing Jaguar cars for the bid at Gruntingthorpe in Leicester - a track two miles long and 60 metres wide.

He plans to make the bid driving on the Salt Lake salt flats in the United States in September - the same location as last year's successful supersonic run by the Thrust SSC car.

A colleague sitting beside him will be acting as his eyes. "You obviously don't need to see to change gear," said Mr Cunningham, "but it helps if you can keep straight, especially at those sort of speeds."

He is making the bid to raise awareness of blind people and to raise money for guide dogs for the blind and his football team.

"I like a challenge and this is definitely a challenge", he added.

He also held the blind men's 100m running record.

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  Internet Links

Thrust - the car that broke the (sighted) land speed record

Silverstone racetrack - where Steve Cunningham learned to drive

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