London - Safety campaigners are calling for a ‘totally reckless’ Audi driver to be prosecuted after he broke the land speed record from John O’Groats to Land’s End, averaging just over 140km/h.
Speed-loving Tommy Davies made the 1345km journey in nine hours and 36 minutes - hitting only one red light. Yet he did not get a single ticket, despite zooming past 50 speed cameras and seven police cars.
Davies boasted that only a fighter jet could have beaten his time and Google Maps estimates a journey of almost 15 hours. The 26-year-old from Llangollen in North Wales, pulled off the late-night stunt with his friend Tom Harvey in a specially adapted Audi S5 with a 4.2 litre V8 upgraded to 298kW.
Six years' planning
The pair had been planning how to beat previous unofficial records for six years. They installed detectors to pick up speed cameras and police radio signals so they could track their movements, and built a fuel tank in the boot that extends the range of the car from 400km to more than 640km.
Davies, who filmed the whole journey on a dashcam, said: "If you speak to a lot of people, the 10 hour mark doesn’t seem possible to break, with the average speed cameras and the police, the odds were stacked against us. A lot of people said it couldn’t be done - so we went out to prove them wrong.
"We believe we are the only ones to do it that quick on land - only a FG1 Phantom fighter Jet has done it faster, in just under 47 minutes."
Neal Champion held the previous record on a motorcycle, completing the journey in 11 hours 14 minutes at an average speed of 125.9km/h in 1984 - before speed cameras were widespread.
But while Davies was thrilled with his record, others were left unimpressed. Ian Crowder, head of road safety at the Automobile Association, said: "This is just totally reckless and irresponsible. Britain’s road are crowded, and far too many people are injured and killed in road accidents every day.
"For somebody to deliberately set about to break the land speed record, film it, and admit how many police he passed and how many cameras he avoided is an outrageous example of putting thousands lives at risk.
"I hope the police prosecute him. It is almost unbelievable that somebody would do that, deliberately, and then brag about it. And to film it? Words fail me. I think it will provide the police all the evidence they need to prosecute him."
The two speed merchants studied the route for six years, breaking it up into sections so they knew where police might be parked and where speed cameras were.
Davies, who did not tell his family he was completing the stunt, said they left at 8pm to ensure they arrived at the major cities en route when the traffic was lightest. They stopped to refuel near Lancaster at 1.18am before arriving in Land’s End at 5.36am. Admitting "speeding is controversial" and puts lives at risk, he claimed he slowed down near other cars.
North Wales Police were not available for comment.