Bored, single and rich Alex Roy has one dream: "to beat the legendary Cannonball Run record by crossing the country in under 32 hours and 7 minutes." He's doing it in a specially modified E39 BMW M5 equipped with the most advanced technological gear -- such as Hummer H1-style bumper-mounted L-3 Raytheon NightDriver thermal camera and LCD dashboard screens. Above, the trailer for the upcoming documentary of the feat. It looks stressful but fun.
Going cross-country fast is not rocket science, but in Roy's world it does require a lot of basic math. To beat the record, Roy has calculated that he needs to maintain an average of almost exactly 90 mph from Manhattan to the Santa Monica Pier. For occasional spurts, 90 is not uncommon on the highway. But for a day and a half of barreling across the United States, 90 miles per hour is essentially insane.
As a Cannonballer makes his way across the continent, the accumulation of his time and speed forms a rising and falling curve called a running average. For every second spent below his 90-mph target, Roy will need to compensate by investing a second going faster than that average. Which is why Roy doesn't want to stop. Every second spent at 0 mph is a second he can never recover even with his BMW's factory-set 155-mph limiter replaced with a Powerchip ECU engine chip. Unfortunately for Roy, no matter how carefully he keeps to his fuel-efficiency regimen or how large his spare fuel tank, he will need to pull over and gas up at least five times.
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