What’s the point in driving a fast car if you don’t drive it fast? My personal best was 143/55.

racers4By Paul Walsh and Dan Browning Star Tribune staff writers APRIL 24, 2016 — 4:53PM

The drivers of a dozen or more high-end sports cars were cited for reckless driving Saturday after a state trooper clocked them at more than 110 miles per hour as they zoomed west on Interstate 394, just west of Louisiana Avenue, authorities said.

One state trooper stopped seven of the vehicles as they doubled back and headed east on Hwy. 12 near Wayzata Boulevard (County Road 15), but five others allegedly took “evasive” actions and sped away, said patrol Lt. Tiffani Nielson. The drivers of those five vehicles were later cited when they stopped at a Holiday gas station in Maple Plain.

One of the troopers told some of the drivers that “they were endangering themselves and other drivers on the road,” Nielson said.

The first report from a patrol officer on I-394 back to dispatch came late Saturday afternoon: “Two dozen cars, well over 100 miles per hour. … Lamborghinis, Porsches; one of them was bright green.”

The same officer said just a moment later, “I see the lead pack. … I’m gonna stop that one, and then I’m gonna start flagging them over.”

A second patrol officer spotted the pack that reversed course and headed east on Hwy. 12.

Three of the sports cars that were caught going more than 100 miles per hour.

Three of the sports cars that were caught going more than 100 miles per hour.
“I’m gonna try to shut it down here,” he told dispatch, according to scanner transmissions. “I got [one of the cars] pulled over just west of County Road 15. Another five are stopped at Baker [Road].”

The makes of the cars included Lamborghinis, a McLaren, a Ferrari, a Maserati and other elite models. The trooper estimated the combined list price of the dozen vehicles that were stopped at more than $2.1 million.

There may have been others in the initial pack who evaded authorities, the lieutenant said.

The 12 drivers who were stopped were all men, ranging in age from mid-20s to mid-50s and owners of the vehicles, Nielson said. They must appear before a judge to answer the misdemeanor charges.

There was no suspicion of drinking by any of the drivers, Nielson said. As for seat belt compliance, the lieutenant said it would have been difficult for the troopers to spot that.

After the drivers were ticketed and sent on their way, a motorist on eastbound Hwy. 12 spotted some of the exotic rides and had his passenger snap a few photos as they neared where Hwy. 12 becomes I-394 at I-494.

The witness, who asked that his name not be published, said, “They came by us, pretty much safe and legally for the most part.”

He said a black BMW was leading the pack, and a passenger was “hanging out the window taking pictures of this little caravan.”

There was a Lamborghini, a McLaren and an Audi in the group “all driving in a line,” he said.

Any thought of joining them? “I was driving a silver Honda Civic,” the man said. “I actually thought of catching up with them for a bit, but my girlfriend gets mad at me when I do things like that.”

pwalsh@startribune.com 612-673-4482
dbrowning@startribune.com 612-673-4493 BrowningStrib

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