Today on The Drive, Alex Roy posted an interesting article. Alex held the NY to LA record with a time of 31 hours 4 minutes from October of 2006 until our drive in 2013. He is undoubtedly the godfather of the modern pursuit of outlaw road racing and bring the Cannonball/US Express ideas into a modern context. In his typical form, the article is long but very worth reading and I recommend that you do spend some time on it if this is something that interests you. Here is the “How to get away with speeding” advice in a bullet pointed form:
- Go to a racing school. Alex Recommends Skip Barber. They are excellent and actually purchased the Panoz Racing School where I used to work. Some of the Porsche Driving Experience courses and Bondurant schools are also excellent.
- Find a friend to ride with you and buy them excellent, stabilized binoculars. None better than Dan Huang.
- Prepare goodbye notes for everyone you love. Assign someone to distribute in case of an emergency.
- Protect your assets. Place them in trusts and hire a good attorney to oversee them.
- Do not use the stereo in your car.
- Do not use your phone in the car other than for Waze, V1 Connect, or Escort Live. Better yet, use a 4G capable iPad on a secure mount.
- Buy a good Radar Detector and Laser Jammer and have them professionally installed.
- Buy a car capable of the speeds you wish to drive. No Trucks, Crossovers or SUVs.
- Make that car black, silver, or gray.
- Never speed in the Summer.
- Never tailgate.
- No Bumper Stickers, onboard firearms, vanity plates, or window tint.
- Upgrade your brakes.
- Use Z (or Y) rated tires.
- Move to a state with no ticket reciprocity and never speed in your home state.
In essence, your car should be starting to look more like this (my CL55 and his M5 pictured below):
This list goes well beyond the Summer Road Trip Checklist that I posted a few months ago. I suggest that you read the rest of what he has to say on the subject in the actual article because there is plenty of wisdom there.
This is an excellent list. I follow nearly every item on it whenever I am deliberately driving fast. Like Alex though, that is rare for me. Most of the driving that I do is well within reason. The nomenclature in the title is most certainly flawed. No one is a “professional speeder.” Roy would be as quick to tell you as I would that most of the worst investments I have made involved going fast on public roads. The implication that anyone makes money doing this is beyond farcical. I am not sure there is a better word for it, though, other than perhaps Lunatic.
I would a few things to an already great list:
- Over-plan any drive. You should know the route, know your stops, know your goal/eta, and know what stands in your way.
- You must over-maintain that speed capable car that you bought. New motor mounts, transmission mounts, suspension components, windshield wiper blades, oil seals, etc. much more frequently than manufacturer requirements. Driving like this requires that you are never waiting for a component to fail. Our S55 build shows how much can go wrong during the life a car lives before you buy it.
- Do not modify the powertrain or suspension from stock. OEM engineers are the best.
- Do not allow any other occupants of the car to be focused on anything other than the drive.
- Upgrade your headlights.
- Avoid poorly maintained roads.
- Secure all objects inside of the car before they become projectiles.
- Carry safety items such as a fire extinguisher, window breaking implement, etc.
- Drive in periods where traffic is minimal and weather is favorable.
- Avoid speeding in groups.
- Do not speed at the end of a month. Every job has goals.
- Be prepared to speak to a police officer. Know what to say, do, and how to steer the conversation toward a desired result. . This is a much longer subject for another day.
- Maximize clearance from other cars on the road. Focus on a controlled posture of the car at all times.
- Maximize the limits on any insurance policies that you have – auto, general liability, life, etc.
- Always be prepared to crash or for something else to crash into you.
- Accept any consequence that you do not manage to avoid.
Abiding by these ideas does work. Roy discusses what driving like this can make you capable of. I built off of the wealth of knowledge he offered in his book and other writings to achieve the results of our 2013 drive. Below you can see our route and each red dot is a data point exceeding 105 mph.
He makes the point that all of this is pointless. These driving goals are ideas that we can obsess over and perhaps motivate us through parts of life but the gravity of the undertaking should never be lost on us. Like Roy, I do not get speeding tickets because I follow this advice. My last ticket was in 2007.
Overall this a great reference with excellent points by Mr. Roy. Well done sir.