It’s official, there’s a new record for the “Cannonball Run,” a very unofficial, and very illegal, race from New York to L.A.
Racers use electronic tracking devices to verify their path and pace, and can make the run anytime they want. The problem is that they travel on official roads but at speeds much faster than the posted speed limits, essentially breaking the law the entire time. This isn’t about taking fewer bathroom breaks, it’s about avoiding the police and, as much as possible, other drivers.
The trio who set the latest record, Arne Toman, Doug Tabbutt, and Berkeley Chadwick, traveled in Toman’s tricked out but outwardly understated 2015 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG. The car has been modified to produce 700 horsepower, and can comfortably cruise at 160 mph.
But the over-the-top modifications are the detection avoidance systems. The car sports a built-in Net Radar radar detector, a windshield-mount Escort Max 360 radar detector, an AL Priority laser jammer system and an aircraft collision avoidance system used to detect “bears in the air.” They traveled with a CB radio, but it proved useless.
Chadwick served as the spotter and used gyro-stabilized binoculars to watch out for police in the distance. Completing the futuristic approach, the vehicle also had a thermal scope mounted on the roof on a gimbal which Chadwick could operate from the back seat. Like the binoculars, it was used to locate police vehicles hiding in the distance. But Toman said they removed the device during the day because it drew too much attention.
The trio made the 2,825 mile trek in just 27 hours and 25 minutes, a pace of 103 mph. That’s an average pace, which includes their combined 22 minutes stopping for fuel as well as any slowdowns on the road.
They smashed the old record of 28 hours and 50 minutes set in 2013, which was a pace of 97 mph.
What do they win? Bragging rights… and a lot of attention from law enforcement.