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BMW scorch-marks 2 new drifting Guinness World Records

The German brand also celebrates its new world records by shredding tires at CES.


Anyone who drove the previous generation BMW M5 knew that it was only truly happy if it was converting expensive rubber into smoke. In a bid to show enthusiasts that adding all-wheel-drive hasn't changed the M5's inner idiot, BMW went out once again on Dec. 11, 2017, to set two Guinness World Records for Greatest Distance Vehicle Drift in 8 Hours and Longest Twin Vehicle Drift (Water Assisted).

If this sounds familiar, it should. BMW set an absurd drift distance record back in 2013 when Johan Schwarz, a BMW performance driving instructor slid around the Bavarian brand's Spartanburg facility for 51.278 miles. This time, Schwartz crushed his record by mercilessly shredding tires (which we can only assume were modified hockey pucks or Soviet tractor tires) for a total of 232.5 miles.

Johan Schwarz, a BMW performance driving instructor, crushed his previous record for Guinness World Records for Greatest Distance Vehicle Drift in 8 Hours.


That distance required some serious technology to make it possible, most notably a custom-developed mid-drift refueling device because, as you might imagine, roasting tires with a twin-turbo V8 is going to sip more than a little gas. BMW enlisted the services of Mooresville, NC-based automotive performance engineering wizards Detroit Speed to create a dry break fuel filler which works a bit like the midair refueling system on a fighter jet.

"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 Johan Schwartz, performance driving instructor at BMW's Spartanburg, SC Performance Driving Center. "In the end, the refueling system worked flawlessly, and the M5 performed as expected. It was a big win all around."

The system required a second M5, this one a previous-generation F10 M5 to drift with Schwartz's car in parallel to maintain a set distance so that the excellently-named Matt Butts of Detroit Speed could straddle both vehicles at speed and complete the refueling.

A BMW M5 driven by Schwartz is refueled mid-drift by Detroit Speed development driver, Matt Butts.


"Although we practiced the refueling several times before the Guinness World Records title attempt, there was very little margin for error," said Matt Butts, the head development driver for Detroit Speed. "We're excited to have played a part in Johan and BMW recapturing this record."

Once the first record was set, BMW figured that it should try and snag another one while everyone was there, you know, German efficiency and all that. Schwartz hopped back into his M5 and was joined by BMW Performance Driving Center chief instructor Matt Mullins in another M5, and they executed a one-hour water-assisted tandem drift over a length of 49.25 miles.

Schwartz and Mullins will be sharing all of their dorifto madness with the folks at CES with drift demonstrations at the top of every hour. The record-setting 2018 M5 will also be on display in the LVCC Silver Lot.