Blind drivers take over at Sandown Raceway in Melbourne for In The Driver's Seat
More than 100 blind or visually impaired people have had the chance to get behind the wheel at the Sandown Racetrack, in Melbourne's south-east.
Jason Nakhla, who was born legally blind, drives at more than 100 kilometres an hour around the racetrack.
He takes the turns like a pro, easing off the accelerator and then flooring it as he reaches the straight.
"My vision is six over sixty, so it's about one-tenth of what a regular person sees," he said.
"I can kind of see, but I can't see things like the instrument dash, the writing."
Mr Nakhla is a big car enthusiast, and relishes the chance to drive.
"I love it. Words can't explain it," he said.
The event, called In The Driver's Seat, is an initiative of the Warrandyte Lions Club, which has run the program for 20 years.
Those with a penchant for motorcycles have a chance to do a lap, although only as passengers.
The Ulysses motorcycle club members help out, while qualified driving instructors donate their time and the use of their cars.
Wayne Stagg has been volunteering for years.
From the passenger seat he warns Mr Nakhla of a sharp turn a few hundred metres ahead.
"My little Yaris doesn't work this hard when I do lessons downtown in Bairnsdale," he said.
"It's a bit of an adrenaline rush when you look down the main straight at Sandown.
"The guys that do this are just adrenaline junkies, and they're so appreciative. We do love it."
Bill Gerritsen, the chairman of the program, said the event started thanks to Warrandyte Lions Club member, Peter Watts, who went blind.
"He found out that this is one of the things blind people miss, driving a motorcar," Mr Gerritsen said.
"Since that time we've had old truck drivers, taxi drivers, all sorts of people.
"It's an emotional day, it's a beautiful day."
It costs the Lions Club about $5,000 to host the event, and Mr Gerritsen said it was money well spent.
"It's all very, very positive and it's not just from the VIPs, but from the volunteers too.
"They get an emotional kick out of it and absolutely love it."
BY STEPHANIE ANDERSON