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Cannonball Run Record is Broken During Pandemic

The pandemic the globe is currently facing has emptied the streets. Consequently, Police are spread thinner than ever before, between having their own members acquiring the COVID-19 virus, and having to cover security at grocery stores in addition to their own regular activities. However, this has left some motoring opportunists to take advantage of the situation. Cannonball Run teams are some of them.

Yes, the Cannonball is real

Many readers may remember the Cannonball Run movies that starred Burt Reynold, Dom DeLuise, and many other stars. They were popular movies that showed teams racing across the nation. It was a movie series interspersed with comedy, flashy cars, and an entertaining story line. But what many don’t realize is that the Cannon Ball Run movies are based on an actual race. 

Back on November 17, 1971, Brock Yates and Dan Gurney won an outlaw, cross-country race called the first Cannonball Baker Sea to Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash. They won it using a white Ferrari Daytona coupe. The time to cross from the Red Ball Garage in New York City to the Portofino Inn on the Pacific coast in California, was 35 hours, 54 minutes. Eight teams participated, and twelve traffic citations were given along the way amongst all the teams. 

Team for the Cannonball Run
REDONDO BEACH, CA – SEPTEMBER 19: Roscoe Anderson, John Ficarra and Carl “Yumi” Dietz pose for photos September 19, 2016 in Redondo Beach, CA. They finished in second with a time of 37 hours and five minutes. | Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images

After that initial race, teams have attempted to organize runs on and off through the years. The attempts are illegal, of course. So, there are no big marketing campaigns to bring awareness to each effort. As can be imagined, everything is kept low key.

The recent attempt

Six months ago, Cannonballers, who often call themselves a Fraternity of Lunatics, started discussing an opportune time to attempt another run. Last weekend was set up as the time to attempt to break last year’s record-setting run. But, after setting a date, the COVID-19 pandemic started to sweep the globe, and most teams reconsidered, withdrawing their interest in the cross-country runs. However, a few teams decided that the empty roads were calling them.  

In a video posted on Youtube by VINwiki, Ed Bolian confirmed today that the previous record was broken. Bolian is a former record holder himself and considered doing this run, but figured between the COVID-19 situation and his wife recently having given birth, that it was poor timing for him. So, he did not participate. He held his own record for a few years at 28 hours, 50 minutes from back in 2013.

Nobody has claimed the record yet

No team has stepped forward to claim the recent record-breaking run yet, presumably to let the statute of limitations to run out in certain states, but Bolian says an attempt certainly happened. He alleges that a time of 26 hours and 38 minutes has become the new record. Bolian says he was able to track the attempt via satellite data provided by the team as it happened. He says the alleged record-breaking run was completed in a white Audi A8 L. Although, he questions the validity of the record during times of global stress and empty roads. 

It won’t be long before the new Cannonball record-breaking team comes forward. As is customary, when the team feels comfortable enough to avoid litigation, someone will come forward with their claim and have it verified. After that, explanations will be forthcoming on how the attempt was completed, how their vehicle was modified, any additional equipment used, if spotters were used, and even if any police encounters interrupted them. 

No doubt, there is more information to come soon.