BMW drifts into Guinness Records

The new BMW M5 is in record fever.

Instructor Johan Schwartz, on 11 December 2017, performed a sustained drift at the BMW Performance Center in Greer, South Carolina, in the new BMW M5, covering exactly 232.5 miles (374.2 kilometres) on a so-called skid pad, thereby setting a new Guinness World Record for the longest drift in eight hours. Schwartz shattered the previous record by 143 miles (230.1 kilometres).

A custom-built refueling system developed by BMW in collaboration with the North Carolina-based company Detroit Speed made it possible to drift continuously without a break for the full eight hours as required by the Guinness World Records. This enabled the BMW M5 to be refueled during the drift in the same way that fighter jets can refuel in mid-flight – though in this case the operation was performed by hand, a second BMW M5 driven by Matt Mullins, the chief driving instructor of the BMW Performance Center, accompanied the record-breaking M5. Mullins adapted to Schwartz’s drifting speed, allowing Matt Butts of Detroit Speed to carry out the refueling operation, secured by a safety tether that permitted him to straddle the space between the two moving vehicles by leaning out of the rear window of the second car.

“Although we practiced the refueling several times before the Guinness World Records title attempt, there was very little margin for error,” said Butts.

“We’re very excited to have played a part in Johan and BMW recapturing this record.”

A second Guinness World Record was awarded for the longest twin vehicle water-assisted drift: Schwartz and Mullins drifted together for one hour, covering a total of 49.25 miles (79.3 kilometres).

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