Track days giving the vision impaired the opportunity to drive

1 minute, 48 seconds Read

Having a vision disability is no longer a roadblock to driving a car, thanks to a series of track days created to get people behind the wheel.

Car lovers who are blind or have vision impairments now have the opportunity to drive in a safe and controlled environment, thanks to a series of track day events at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Blind Speed Track Days allows vision-impaired individuals aged 14 years and older to get behind the wheel of a dual-controlled vehicle with a professional driving instructor, helping them to learn the car and the track.

Participants can also elect to be a passenger for a hot lap in a performance car, with either experience costing $55 each.

The concept was created by Ben Felten, who broke the world record for being the fastest blind man on a motorcycle – hitting 266.7 km/h back in 2018.

“I was inspired to establish Blind Speed Track Days because the most common question I get from people with disability is ‘How can I drive a car or ride a motorcycle?”

Felten wants to also become the fastest blind man in Australia on four wheels, with plans to drive a 1980s Toyota Corolla hatchback – fitted with an electric motor – to 200km/h in March 2024.

For those who can’t make it to Sydney Motorsport Park or want to practice their skills before the next scheduled event, the recently-released car-racing video game Forza Motorsports introduced a feature called ‘Blind Driving Assists’ – developed with the help of blind accessibility advocate and gamer Brandon Cole.

It provides pace notes and audible cues for corners, track position, speed, braking, and other information to help those with a vision disability drive around a virtual race track.

To find out about the next Blind Speed Track Days event, you can visit their website by clicking here.

Ben Zachariah is an experienced writer and motoring journalist from Melbourne, having worked in the automotive industry for more than two decades. Ben began writing professionally more than 15 years ago and was previously an interstate truck driver. He completed his MBA in Finance in early 2021 and is considered an expert on classic car investment.

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