He says he's retired from Gumballs and Cannonball-type events and, if anything, his book is a cautionary tale of the sacrifices in time, money, preparation and personal relationships one must make in order to break the record. Someone breaking his record wouldn't necessarily mean he'd feel the need to reclaim it. If anything, he says he'd be the first to congratulate them on a job well done.
The sun has just set as we approach the Texas/New Mexico border. The Garmin GPS readout says we'll make it to LA by 6:30 a.m. That means having to slog through rush-hour traffic, which is unacceptable to Roy. We'll have to make up time.
The car we're driving is nearly identical to the M5, known as 144A, Roy and Maher set the record with. Like 144A, this car, 144B, is also a 2000 M5 with a Powerchip ECU that removes the speed limiter while adding a better-breathing exhaust system (Kelleners Sport for 144A and Dinan for 144B) and a firmed-up suspension via Bilstein PSS9s.
On the outside it's a stock M5, slightly lowered, sporting four antennae, four round GPS receivers at each corner of the roof, and front and rear bumper-mounted cameras. Inside, it's unlike any other.
Three Garmin GPS displays are within sight of the driver or co-pilot. As are two dash-mounted Alpine screens displaying images from the under-bumper mounted L-3 Communications NightDriver thermal camera. A Whelen Commander control panel lets Roy kill his brake lights or turn on the strobes (which he uses in other countries when playing fake policeman as part of his Gumball persona).
The CB radio is mounted cleanly in the headliner, a police scanner sits just aft of the gearbox and a Valentine 1 radar detector is mounted on the windshield with an extra display sitting at the bottom of the instrument cluster. On the left side of the steering wheel is the switch for the Blinder M25 front and rear laser jammers, which Roy says must be turned off if we're hit by a cop's laser. Two false readings will cause suspicion and jammers are illegal in many states.
We swap seats at the next gas station. Night has fallen, traffic's more sparse, a perfect opportunity to shave time off our ETA. Roy decides to sleep while I try to find a speed that makes up time, feels safe and isn't too conspicuous. Anywhere between 100 and 120 mph seems to be the M5's comfort zone. Brief forays past 120 mph seem gratuitous. Breaking endurance driving records seems less an exercise in top speed bravado and more a discipline in holding relatively high speeds for extended periods. The jammers, detector, scanner and CB radio provide the confidence to go faster, but the price is increased paranoia.