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Watch Alfa Romeo complete a lap of Silverstone while 'blindfolded'

The driver had some radio assistance, but he couldn't see a darn thing the entire lap.

Matt Sills

Pilots can fly using instrument flight rules, which means relying on gauges and electronics in lieu of visual references. It's a bit harder to do in a car, but nevertheless, Alfa Romeo just pulled it off.

To celebrate the launch of its new Giulia sport sedan, the automaker went to England's Silverstone and set a lap record. Only, it did so using a vehicle that had every window covered in black vinyl, essentially blindfolding the driver. A second Giulia provided radio assistance, similar to flying IFR in an airplane.

Using only his knowledge of the track and the voice commands from the car behind him, racing driver Ed Morris completed the lap in 1 minute, 44.3 seconds, just 0.3 seconds off the time set by Alfa Romeo's own 159 racecar back in 1951. With 510 horsepower on tap, and a slew of modern safety systems, this run was probably less hairy than the original.