BMW Sets Two Guinness World Records for Drifting

AutuInformed.com on BMW M5 Drift Record

The ultimate sliding machine?

During a publicity stunt performed at the end of 2016, BMW driving instructor Johan Schwartz drifted a M5 sedan 232.5 miles around a skid pad at the BMW Performance Center in Greer, SC, setting a new Guinness World Records title for the Greatest Distance Vehicle Drift in 8 hours.  Schwartz broke the previous record by 143 miles.  A second record for the Longest twin vehicle drift (water assisted) was also set.

Schwartz broke the title for Longest Continuous V D <grin> during May 2013 when he drifted an unmodified 2013 BMW M5 sedan for 51.278 miles also at the BMW Performance Center.  Since then, Schwartz’s record was broken twice – officially in 2013, then 2014.

To accomplish these exploits, BMW worked with North Carolina based automotive fabricators, ironically called, Detroit Speed to develop a custom dry break fuel system capable of refueling the BMW M5 mid-drift similar to the way that fighter jets can refuel in mid-flight.  The resulting fueling system allowed Schwartz to drift continuously for the entire eight hours allocated.

“We knew going-in that if we were going to recapture the world record for longest sustained drift and set the bar as high as possible, we would need to find a way to keep the M5 going without stopping to refuel,” said Schwartz. “In the end, the refueling system worked flawlessly and the M5 performed as expected.  It was a big win all around.”

Five separate times over the course of the eight-hour drift, a second BMW M5 — a previous generation M5 (F10) similar to the one that Schwartz used to set his original record — entered the skid pad driven by BMW Performance Center Chief Driving Instructor Matt Mullins.  As Mullins matched Schwartz’s drift, Detroit Speed’s Matt Butts, who was suspended via a safety tether from the second vehicle’s rear window, was able to straddle the space between both moving vehicles and successfully complete the fueling.

During the Consumer Electronics Show this week, Schwartz and Mullins will perform a drifting demonstration in the 2018 BMW M5 at the top of every hour.  The title-setting vehicle will be displayed in the BMW Experience at the Las Vegas Convention Center’s Silver Lot.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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