NY to LA in 31 hours

A new book released this week, The Driver: My Dangerous Pursuit of Speed and Truth in the Outlaw Racing World, describes a wild cross-country drive that broke the previous record by averaging 90 miles an hour between New York and Los Angeles. That includes six gas-and-bathroom stops and dodging state troopers, says author Alexander Roy.

Because of the dubious legality and the absence of a sanctioning body, transcontinental and endurance-driving records are hard to quantify. Roy did not disclose his accomplishment for more than a year to coordinate with the release of his book, a difficult feat considering that bragging rights are among the only spoils of the pursuit. In the past two days, however, word of the run has surfaced on automotive Web sites, prompting debate about the record and about the safety of the attempts.

Roy, the 35-year-old president of Europe by Car, a high-end car rental agency based in New York, has achieved fame in automotive circles for participating in road rallies like the Gumball 3000 and Bullrun...A relentless self-promoter with a shiny bald head, Roy became known for driving in a mock German police car dressed as an officer. He reasoned the outfit could help keep him out of jail and win style points with judges and notoriety with fans.

The BMW M5 that made the run was fitted with a laser jammer to scramble police speed-enforcement equipment, ground-to-air radio, two night-vision monitors, four global positioning system units, CB radio, high-performance brakes, racing clutch and 20-gallon fuel cell in the trunk.

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