Manning sets a record -- backwards!

BAR test driver Darren Manning set a record this week by driving backwards at 102.52mph in a Caterham Fireblade. The car's engine and gearbox were specially adapted to give Manning six reverse gears. "The Caterham Seven is one of the best...

BAR test driver Darren Manning set a record this week by driving backwards at 102.52mph in a Caterham Fireblade. The car's engine and gearbox were specially adapted to give Manning six reverse gears.

"The Caterham Seven is one of the best handling cars on the road but that's going forwards." He said after setting the record. "My first two reverse runs felt eally fast but when I got back and asked how I'd got on they told me 'Oh you were doing about 40mph'. "

Some might have problems keeping a car pointing in the right direction, but Manning said despite the difficulties involved he got used to going backwards.

"The car felt really nervous even at that speed and it was quite difficult to master the technique. I wasn't allowed to look over my shoulder so I piced a focal point ahead and tried to keep that more or less in the centre of the bonnet as I was going along. By the time I got round to the record runs I'd pretty much got the hang of it. On the first one I was timed at 91mph, and once I'd gone that fast it made sense to try for 100."

The drive took place at an airfield in Gloucestershire, UK and the Guiness Book of Records verified Manning's acheivement -- the previous speed set was 86mph.

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Darren Manning