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]