The "Cannonball Run" record has allegedly been broken—but the culprits aren't getting much respect, even from fellow illegal racers. With roads largely empty and much of the country locked down, a team of three or four racers claims to have made it from New York City's Red Ball Garage to the Portofino Hotel in Redondo Beach, California, in 26 hours and 38 minutes, Road and Track reports. That beats the record set in November by more than 45 minutes. In a now-deleted Facebook post, the team posted a picture of the time and the vehicle involved, a 2019 Audi A8L with two marine fuel tanks in the trunk, reports The Drive. The team said they set off on April 4, the day other drivers had planned a "no-holds-barred" Cannonball race that was called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The team did not disclose its average speed. The drivers who set the previous record say they averaged 103mph from New York to LA. Other racers slammed the team for targeting the Cannonball record during a national crisis, noting it was not only in "bad taste," but that an accident would have created more work for stressed emergency services, reports Road and Track. The "official" Cannonball Instagram account said the record had "no value" because the pandemic "devalues the difficulty of the exercise. Record is 27:25 ... End of story." But John Ficarra, founder of "The 2904," another unofficial race, said those who are bemoaning the run as a hit to the Cannonball legacy have it wrong. "How do you tarnish something that's illegal and that the general public already hates?" he asked. (Read more auto racing stories.)