• May 14th 2007 at 5:29PM
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Before the start of the 2007 Bullrun rally last Saturday in Montreal, participants Richard Rawlings and Dennis Collonis bet their fellow Bullrun buddy Jay Riecke $50,000 that they could beat the longstanding cross-country rally record of driving from New York City to L.A. set by Dave Heinz and Dave Yarborough back in 1979 during the final running of the original Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash. Heinz and Yarborough did the trek in 32 hours and 51 minutes in a Jaguar XJS.

Rawling and Collonis took the bet and immediately left the Bullrun rally headed for NYC. They got some sleep, stocked up on supplies and had their vehicle fitted with some video equipment to document the attempt. Their Ferrari 550 was already modified for the Bullrun to Key West rally with extra fuel cells and a spare tire, so they were ready to go. After nearly 32 hours of driving with no tickets, Rawling, Collonis and the Ferrari pulled into the Portofino Inn in Redondo Beach, CA. With an unofficial time of 31 hours and 59 minutes, the team appear to have beat the longstanding Cannonball Run record set nearly 28 years ago.

Our good buddy Ray Wert from Jalopnik, who is participating in the 2007 Bullrun Rally this year driving the #70 Cadillac ESV, tells us that Rawling and Collonis will appear on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno this evening to recount their record run. There's no word on how or when the trip will go from being unofficial to the new official cross-country rally record, but we assume the Bullrun organizers plan to edit together a nice piece of video after they sift through the many recorded hours of driving to show us all the proof.

[Source: Bullrun2007.com via Jalopnik]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Sorry, Bryan, but I'm with the "thumbs up for not killing anyone crowd." The driver obviously has enough time and money to outfit a Ferrari with fuel cells and roll cages, research the route, and execute it. If he can finance that, he can spend as many weekends on a track as he likes... which is the only place the limits of a car or the driver's ability should be tested.

      All this stunt says to me is the driver doesn't have the skills to play with the real racers, so he has to make up his own track where only he can play. This is a variant of "if you beat me in marbles, I'm going home and taking them with me."
      • 8 Years Ago
      For the guy that said "two thumbs up for not killing anyone" If you had ever even been given a ride in a Ferrari (because you definitely haven't driven one) you would realize that 80 - 100 mph feels like your crawling. I'm sure they weren't the most dangerous people on the road at the time. I'm more afraid of the guy in the 1986 Honda Civic hatchback with half of the after market body kit falling off passing me on the right at 100 mph in rush hour! Go take your Prius to Hybrid section of this blog.
      • 8 Years Ago
      wow, google maps says it should take 42 hours and 2795 miles. Which means that they averaged ~87 mph for the entire drive. Thats amazing.
      • 8 Years Ago
      So, the Bullrun announces that the Bullrun broke the record and that the Bullrun shot the whole thing as proof? Color me skeptical, but seriously shouldn't there have been a real reporter on the trip? I mean the Jalopnik guys was RIGHT THERE and he seems to know next to nothing.

      Next time someone tries this: Call reporters AHEAD of time!!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Nice accomplishment. I understand how tough this is.
      I've done San Diego to Atlanta in 38 hours (by myself, twice, and without a radar detector) and let me tell you, it wasn't easy. I followed big rigs rolling along at 90+ in Arizona and New Mexico, cars travelling the same speeds in Texas, and basically just did 15 over the limit in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, then slowed to 5-10 over the limit in Georgia (where there are more cops than trees). I loaded up my cooler before the trip with snacks, fruit and a couple of large, 64-ounce cups with tops for pissing. The car was a 2001 GTI 1.8T and I never got less than 26 mpg, and most of the time, near 30. It was great. I wonder if I had a co-driver whether I could have dropped the time into the sub-30 hour range, but alas, no one would ride with me.
      Not that I really wanted anyone else to ride any damn way...
      Usually, when I'd get to Atlanta, I'd be wasted for a day, but recuperated after that.
      • 8 Years Ago
      here's the entire interview with Richard Rawlings and Dennis Collonis about the record beating run:

      • 8 Years Ago
      How long before some cops decide to use the footage against them? Bullrun is a race on public roads, right? Last I checked that was illegal. Footage of high speed driving has been used against people before, even when the cops didn't actually see it happen.

      They'd have to average a speed much higher than 87MPH to get the job done in time. Figure, they'd need to stop for at least fuel and piss breaks along the way, too.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I can't find any info on the XJS.... anyone? specs por favor...

      • 8 Years Ago
      did the XJS previous record holder have extra fuel cells also?
      • 8 Years Ago
      I could see an attempt at breaking the record in something like an E320 CDi. With bladder busting range, even at 150mph, you can't beat it for a long distance haul. Then all you need is some cathoders (sp) and a case of Jolt.
      BTW, who has the record for the Dead Horse to Key West run these days?
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