New Cannonball Record Set in 2019 Audi A8

It comes as no surprise that someone would attempt to break the infamous Cannonball Record this year. American highways are empty thanks to self-quarantine. Cops are too busy enforcing social distancing, and breaking up toilet paper riots to set up speed traps. It provides the ideal interstate environment for speeding from New York to Los Angles.

Breaking news from Road & Track is that a 2019 Audi A8 sedan with a trunk full of plastic marine gas tanks has set a new Cannonball record. Driving from New York to Los Angles in 26 hours 38 minutes; beating the previously record by roughly 45 minutes. R&T delivers the full story with interviews from Cannonball veterans like Alex Roy and Ed Bolian.

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This is Like Bowling with Bumper Guards

News of this new record has sent many highway scofflaws reaching for the saddle to throw over their high horse. Saying that it was completed in bad taste since we are in the middle of a global crisis. Taking advantage of a bad situation. But, those who disapprove of the way this new record was set also partook in the same illegal activity for no reason other than personal adventure. An irony that is not lost on some of them.

The original concept of the Cannonball Run, Brock Yates’ vision, was to protest the national 55 mph law. Since the first official run in 1971 America no longer has a national 55 mph law. The races are no longer being held (as far as we know). Modern cannonball runs are not seen with the same kind of glamour as the glory days of the late 70’s and early 80’s. Why? Because technology is designed to make our lives easier in all aspects. Including transcontinental driving.

What was once seen as a Pony Express run with CB radios, taillight cut-out switches, and paper maps now involves expensive equipment, infrared cameras, and internet fame. It’s become a fight club that constantly talks about fight club.

Anyone can drive a 2019 Audi A8 at high speed for hours. The car was built for the autobahn for Pete’s sake! So a group of people in a late model German sedan setting a Cannon Ball record when the roads are empty and the cops are busy handling a crisis seems hollow and unearned. Where is the challenge?

This looks like non-alcoholic beer by comparison to those who attempted this in vintage sports cars without GPS. Or those crazy enough to attempt this on motorcycles. That’s real, may cause blindness, mason jar moonshine.

Has the Cannonball Run become outdated in the modern era? Its not longer a protest, so what is it? What does setting a new record even mean in this new decade? I personally love the idea of racing against the clock, and others, in a high speed dash west. It comes from my Texas-ranch cowboy upbringing. So I cannot say I disapprove of this record. All I’m saying is doing it like these guys did is like bowling a perfect 300 while using bumper guards. They completed the challenge, but who cares?