A car fanatic has been slammed by road safety campaigners after bragging about smashing the land speed record from John O’Groats to Land’s End by travelling at an average of 90mph.
Tommy Davies, 26, of Llangollen, north Wales, claimed he managed the 841 mile trip in just nine hours and 36 minutes, flying past 50 cameras, seven police cars, and hitting only one red light.
Only a FG1 Phantom fighter jet has completed the journey faster and Google Maps estimates a journey time of almost 15 hours.
But his boast has been branded ‘totally reckless and irresponsible’ and an ‘outrageous example of putting thousands of people’s lives at risk’ as he faced calls to be prosecuted for the stunt.
Tommy Davies, of Llangollen, north Wales, managed the 841 mile trip in just nine hours and 36 minutes
Mr Davies, posing with his Audi S5, flew past 50 cameras, seven police cars, and hitting only one red light
Speaking of his record attempt, Mr Davies said: ‘Speeding in this country is controversial and it’s one those things where you are on the road with other drivers, and who am I to put their lives at risk?
‘We were so focused if there were any other cars on the road I would slow down and make sure the passing rate of speed was safe to minimise any risk.’
The 26-year-old said he undertook the late night mission in September with friend Tom Harvey in a specially adapted Audi S5 with a 4.2 litre VA engine.
They upgraded the vehicle to 400 brake horsepower, 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 250 miles to over 400 miles which meant they only had to stop once, he claimed.
The pair had been planning to try and beat previous unofficial records for the trip for six years.
Mr Davies, who filmed the journey on a dashcam, said: ‘If you speak to a lot of people, the ten hour mark doesn’t seem possible to break, with the average speed cameras and the police, the odds were stacked against us.
The specially adapted Audi S5 with a 4.2 litre VA engine
The 841 mile route Mr Davies took from John O’Groats to Land’s End, completing it in nine hours and 36 minutes, with an average speed of 90mph
Mr Davies (pictured at the wheel of his car) and his friend had been planning to try and beat previous unofficial records for the trip for six years
They installed detectors to pick up speed cameras and police radio signals so they could track their movements
‘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.’
But Ian Crowder, head of road safety at the AA, told MailOnline: ‘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 of people’s lives at risk.
They built a fuel tank in the boot that extends the range of the car from 250 miles to over 400 miles which meant they only had to stop once
‘I hope the police prosecute him. It is almost unbelievable that somebody would do that, deliberately, and then brag about it.
He added: ‘No matter how skilled a driver you are, he was very lucky to avoid any kind of incident. What if somebody pulled out? He wouldn’t have had a chance.
‘And to film it? Words fail me. I think it will provide the police all the evidence they need to prosecute him.’
The only official records for the journey date back to the 1984, before speed cameras and automatic number plate recognition technology existed.
The start of the drive at John O’Groats at 8pm, timing it so they would cruise through the most populated areas at night
Neal Champion, who held the previous record on a motorbike, did it in 11 hours 14 minutes at an average speed of 78.7 mph back in 1984.
The driving duo studied the route for six years, breaking it up into various sections so they knew where police may be parked and where the speed cameras were.
Mr Davies said: ‘We had spread sheets just full of information just so we could get a good sense of what we were up against.
‘We left at 8pm, which we perfectly timed to pass Glasgow at 11.45pm, then come through Liverpool and Birmingham in the dead of night as they are the most populated areas.’
The petrol-heads stopped once to refuel, meeting two friends with 150 litres of petrol in a van at a junction near Lancaster services at 1.18am, before arriving at Land’s End at 5.36am
The committed petrol heads stopped once to refuel, meeting two friends with 150 litres of petrol in a van at a junction near Lancaster services at 1.18am, before arriving at Land’s End at 5.36am.
Mr Davies added: ‘It was a bit of shock when we finished, we had to quickly double check that it was definitely nine hours 36.
‘To be on adrenaline for nine and a half hours all through the night, the crash bang afterwards was just unbelievable – once we got the car in the trailer and a mate drove us back up I just fell asleep.
‘Speeding in this country is controversial and it’s one those things where you are on the road with other drivers, and who am I to put their lives at risk?
‘We were so focused if there were any other cars on the road I would slow down and make sure the passing rate of speed was safe to minimise any risk.
‘Looking back, it was a great experience, it showed that all the research and preparation we had done really paid off.’
North Wales Police, the force that represents Mr Davies’ home town of Llangollen and would lead an investigation into the stunt, were unavailable for comment.
Boy racers? Speeding drivers are now more likely to be middle-aged as study finds that Audi owners are the worst culprits
A survey of 6,000 British motorists aged from 17 to 80 showed that those most likely to break the speed limit are the 41-60 age band, who do so for 6.6 per cent of their total time at the wheel.
It also found that Audi drivers are the worst culprits, breaking the limit 8.7 per cent of the time, followed by BMW drivers at 8.3 per cent.
A new study shows that those who speed the most are in fact middle-aged – and the worst of all drive upmarket Audis. (File photo). In fact, three out of the five marques driven by the most inveterate speeders are German
In fact, three out of the five marques driven by the most inveterate speeders are German, with Mercedes in fifth place on 7.7 per cent. Jaguar and Land Rover, both now owned by India’s Tata Motors, come in at third and fourth.
The slowest drivers drive Suzukis, speeding for just 4.2 per cent of their mileage.
In age terms, the second most speedy group are over-65s, who break the limit 6.5 per cent of the time, followed by young drivers aged 17-25 (6.2 per cent) and the 26-40 group (6.1 per cent). Regionally, drivers in Scotland have the worst record, going over the limit 7.6 per cent of the time.
Gareth Boyes, 42, of Edinburgh, says he sees a lot of speeding drivers on his commute into Glasgow and most are middle-aged tailgaters.
‘You don’t see boy racers so much any more – but maybe they just aren’t out of bed yet!’ he added.
The new figures come as the Government considers the introduction of graduated licences with restrictions on new drivers – such as not letting them drive at night, carry multiple passengers or drive the most powerful cars.
The speeding research was carried out by Smartdriverclub, which monitors speed and mileage and rewards more careful drivers with cheaper insurance.
Boss Penny Searles said the company would welcome graduated driving licences but added: ‘Our analysis shows that experience doesn’t always mean safer driving.
‘Motorists in their 40s have that classic combination of intense work and home pressures which can make them heavy-footed when they get behind the wheel.
‘Our customers like the fact that they get a gentle reminder from us if they have been going over the speed limit or braking harshly on a frequent basis.’