Blind SA man breaks land-speed record

A South African man has become the world’s fastest blind driver after barrelling down an airstrip at an average speed of 269kph, a newspaper reported on Friday.

Hein Wagner, who works as a motivational speaker in Cape Town, set his record at the Mafikeng airstrip in north-western South Africa on Thursday, topping the previous record by 33kph.

“It was nerve-wracking and I am still trying to catch my breath,” the 33-year-old daredevil told The Citizen newspaper shortly after the attempt, which still has to be confirmed by the Guinness World Records book.

Blind since birth, Wagner drove his Maserati V8 GranSport under verbal instruction from his navigator and said earlier he wanted to try to reach 300kph in an attempt to raise money for the blind in South Africa.

Wagner said conditions for the drive were good, but the car might have performed better earlier, before outside temperatures climbed to 34 degrees Celsius.

“[But] the car handled very well and the technology on board is outstanding,” he added.

The current confirmed land-speed record is being held by Briton Mike Newman, a bank manager, at 233kph, the South African Press Association said, while Newman’s countryman Ken Moss holds the solo record at 210kph.—AFP

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