Cannonball Run record is broken SEVEN times over five weeks after illegal racers took to the empty streets during coronavirus lockdown to drive from NYC to LA in under 26 hours
- New record holders, who were not named, completed 2,800-mile road journey in under 26 hours
- Previous record was set in April at 26 hours and 38 minutes
- Stay-at-home orders and social distancing have emptied roads nationwide, prompting more to take on the challenge
- Some Cannonball fans have said doing a Cannonball Run during the COVID-19 trial is irresponsible and should not count against pre-pandemic record
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
The Cannonball Run record has been broken seven times over a five-week period after illegal road racers took to the empty streets during coronavirus lockdown to drive from New York City to Los Angeles.
The newest record holders, who have not been named, completed the 2,800-mile cross-country journey in less than 26 hours, beating last month’s record of 26 hours and 38 minutes.
Not much is known about the latest champions, including the car they drove or the actual time, but the team reportedly averaged a speed of 120mph, according to 2013 record breaker Ed Boilan.
A new team has broken the Cannonball Run record after driving from New York City to Los Angeles in under 26 hours – beating last month’s record of 26 hours and 38 minutes
Cannonball Runs generally begin at Red Ball Garage in New York City and travel some 3,000 miles to the Portofino Hotel & Marina in Los Angeles County, California
2013 record holder Ed Boilan revealed the record has been broken seven times in the last five weeks as more drivers have been taking on the challenge during the coronavirus lockdown
Boilan, whose record is 28 hours and 50 minutes, revealed more drivers have been taking up the challenge after coronavirus lockdowns cleared roadways across the country.
‘Certainly, we had some over 110[mph] averages through states, they were over 120[mph] through several states,’ he said on his YouTube channel last week.
‘They had over 30 spotters, an amazingly well-prepared car, and everything just went about as well as they could have hoped.’
It comes after a team of three people set a new speed record last month, taking off from Red Bull Garage – the traditional race start point – in New York City around 11:15pm on April 4.
Just a little over one day later, the team arrived at the traditional finish line at the Portofino Hotel & Marina in Redondo Beach, California. They have not publicly disclosed which route they took.
The Cannonball Run, created in 1971 under the name ‘Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shinning Sea Memorial Trophy Dash’, is a cross-country race that involves people driving nearly 3,000 miles in the shortest amount of time possible.
Creator Brock Yates, a former editor at Car and Driver magazine, would organize the illegal cross-country race four times throughout the 1970s.
A photo shared to Facebook showed last month’s record breakers’ car, a 2019 Audi A8 sedan (pictured), with two plastic marine fuel tanks in the trunk
The previous team’s record run was shown displayed on an iPad taped to the driver’s seat head rest
David Diem and Doug Turner set a record of 32 hours and 7 minutes before Yates disbanded the races. The record remained untouched until 2006.
In November 2019, Arne Toman, Doug Tabbutt, and Berkeley Chadwick broke the previous Cannonball Run record with a time of 27 hours and 25 minutes.
Photos shared to Facebook showed a 2019 Audi A8 sedan with two plastic marine fuel tanks strapped into the trunk of the car said to be used.
‘Word on the street there’s a new cannon ball record yesterday at 26:38. Damn that’s fast, wrote Rehv Mark, who has since deleted the post.
Meanwhile, a small group of people who had competed in the C2C Express and the 2094 races – Cannonball Run spin-offs from recent years – planned to have a Cannonball run on April 4, as well.
But as COVID-19 emergency orders increased across states and the national death toll continued to rise daily, the event was called off.
Arne Toman, (right), Doug Tabutt, (left), and Berkeley Chadwick, (seen in the backseat), broke a record for competing a Cannonball Run which involves driving cross-country from New York to Los Angeles in the shortest amount of time possible
Gluckman: ‘You have a choice to make: aggrandize undeserving a**holes, or give the exact amount of attention they deserve, which is none’
While such a feat is normally a cause for celebration, some social media users and Cannonball Run fans have labeled the latest run ‘scummy’ amid the pandemic.
As of Saturday, the United States has 1,600,937 confirmed cases and 95,979 deaths.
Shelter-in-place orders have confined millions to their homes and social distancing guidelines leave small room for gatherings.
As a result, some believe the recent record holders may have unfairly used the near-empty streets and sudden drop in traffic to their advantage.
‘This is the scummiest s*** I’ve heard in a few weeks that hasn’t directly come from the oval office,’ one Twitter user wrote.
Another called the crew ‘self-aggrandizing’ and urged media outlets to ignore the controversial new record.
‘To my friends in the automotive media: you’re apparently going to be hit up soon by some attention seekers claiming a new Cannonball Run “record,”‘ they wrote.
‘You have a choice to make: aggrandize undeserving a**holes, or give the exact amount of attention they deserve, which is none.’
Alex Roy, who set the first modern record in 2006, said the latest Cannonball Run could have ended in a bigger consequence.
Roy said: ‘If you hit a truck moving medical supplies and people die because of it, that’s on you.’
‘People are counting on those trucks moving around right now. It’s not funny.’
Some people suggested the new record not be formally recognized by the community due to the current national crisis.
But others pushed back against the naysayers who claimed the trial run was tone deaf and even pointed out the race is illegal anyway.
‘How do you tarnish something that’s illegal and that the general public already hates?’ asked John Ficarra, the founder and organizer of The 2094.
Ficarra added that there is no sanctioning body for the illegal Cannonball Run.
‘If we come together as The Council of Cannonball or whatever and say, ‘No, we forbid this,’ who really gives a shit? This whole Cannonball thing is small potatoes. It’ll blow over.’
Ed Bolian, a Cannonball driver who set a 28 hour and 50 minute record in 2013, agreed.
‘Do I think this is the best use of time while the country is staying in during a pandemic?
‘Probably not, but for me to say it’s awful is like a cocaine dealer saying a heroin dealer is awful.’
The C2C Express founder and organizer Ben ‘Charlie Safari’ Wilson admitted that he understood why some would see this as the perfect time to attempt a Cannonball Run, but explained it was irresponsible.
‘It’s never completely responsible to drive across the country fast without stopping, but now is completely the wrong time,’ Wilson said.