The Cannonball Run is a completely illegal and irresponsible challenge where the goal is to drive across the U.S. in as little time as possible. Although you probably shouldn’t do this, it doesn’t stop many people from trying, and the results can be astonishing. The latest record braking run, covered by Road and Track, may just be the most impressive of them all. A man named Fred Ashmore just drove a rented Ford Mustang GT from New York City to Los Angeles in 25 hours and 55 minutes, all by himself.
Specifically, the Cannonball Run has people drive from the Red Bull Garage in New York to the Portofino Hotel in Redondo Beach, California. The Coronavirus shutdowns across the nation emptied highways, promoting a dramatic uptick in people attempting the cross-country journey as quickly as possible. But Ashmore’s sub-26 hour run is probably the most impressive.
First, he didn’t have a purpose built car like many others. Instead, he just rented a Ford Mustang GT. There were some modifications, mainly extra fuel tanks that meant Ashmore only had to refuel once. He removed the passenger seat to fit a fuel tank, stuck another one in the back seats and one more in the trunk. Altogether, this was 130 extra gallons of fuel capacity. In other words, that’s a lot of explosive liquid mounted all around the driver’s seat.
While other runs have used more sophisticated equipment, Ashmore just had Waze, some other navigation apps, a laser jammer, and radar detector. He even used the Mustang’s built in trip computer to verify the results.
Most impressive of all is the fact that Ashmore did this solo. Most Cannonball Runs have a co-driver to monitor the navigation and radar systems, and be a second set of eyes for the driver. Plus, they can swap positions mid-trip to catch some rest. Not so for Ashmore, who had to be on high alert for over 24 hours in his record setting journey, which is now the fastest ever solo Cannonball Run, beating many other runs with two people.