CZECH REPUBLIC

How to drive 330km/h in broad daylight, without getting arrested

Cannonball, Gumball, Redline, Carbon Black - they sound like the names of videos games, but in fact, these are races; organised in secrecy, barely legal, and highly dangerous for the public. First set up in Asia, the high speed chases are now tearing through the streets of Central Europe. Read more...

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Cannonball, Gumball, Redline, Carbon Black - they sound like the names of videos games, but in fact, these are races; organised in secrecy, barely legal, and highly dangerous for the public. First set up in Asia, the high speed chases are now tearing through the streets of Central Europe.

Only owners of big, fast and expensive cars are invited to take part: most of them are young entrepreneurs and celebrities. The general public and the police are left in the dark until a day or two in advance, and only find out as a necessity - the race takes place on a motorway, and in broad daylight. The official speed limit is 130km/h on the D1 motorway, but most of the luxury cars get away with driving at over 200km/h, despite there being normal traffic on the road. The rewards are suitably bling bling: winner of last month's Diamond Race, Prague businessman Petr Kříž was awarded a diamond worth €40,000 for steering his orange Porsche along the public motorway from Prague to Budapest.

Day one of the race

Video: Otakar Vavra.

330km/h?

Video © NOVA TV.

A racer says he drove at around 250 - 260 km/h, unless he saw the police when he dropped down to 130km/h. He also saw someone driving at around 330km/h. The girl at the end of the video says the race was great except for the presence of too many police. At some point you see a car being pulled over by the police. Apparently they stop some cars but punishments are rare and light.

"Even the police […] took it with humour"

Czech porn actor Robert Rosenberg took part in last month's Diamond Race.

I really liked the race, it was great fun. Even the police, although they were following the race, took it with humour. I think I'll take part in it again next year, and so will many others. This year there were about 50 cars, but next year I expect no less than 300. Unfortunately, I couldn't drive the whole distance because of work obligations, so I only drove the starting and finishing stretches. I can't say I followed the highway code to the letter, but I certainly was very careful. I don't even have a race car: I own a Hummer and a Touran. So let's say it's not about driving fast for me but getting to my destination on time."