BMW M5 gets sideways for 51 miles to set new drifting world record


May 14, 2013

Johan Schwartz on his way to a drifting world record in a 2013 BMW M5 sedan

Johan Schwartz on his way to a drifting world record in a 2013 BMW M5 sedan

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Back in February at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, Abdo “Dado” Feghali set a new Guinness World Record by getting sideways in a stock Chevrolet Camaro SS fitted with an EasyDrift system for over 10 minutes, covering a distance of 6.95 miles (11.18 km). Pretty impressive, right? Well, it’s not looking quite so impressive after BMW Performance Center Instructor Johan Schwartz spent a large slab of his Saturday in a continuous drift that covered an insane 51.28 miles (82.52 km).

Schwartz performed the new world-record drift by completing a total of 322.5 laps around the 841-foot (256-meter) skid pad at the BMW Performance Center near Greenville, South Carolina. He was behind the wheel of an unmodified 2013 BMW M5 sedan from the BMW Performance Center school fleet that was equipped with an M-DCT transmission and a set of Continental ContiSport ultra-high performance tires (sizes 255/30/20 front, 295/30/20 rear).

The drift record attempt kicked off a week of events leading up to the BMW Charity Pro-Am and raised over US$20,000 in charitable donations that will benefit over 150 different charities.

Some of the record-setting drift can be seen in the video below. However, those hoping to see plenty of tire smoke will be disappointed to learn the track was sprayed down with water beforehand.

Source: BMW

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

That is just silly i could barely stand to watch it 10-12 times.

Drifting is dumb. I would think Contential would get more mileage out of this stunt. $20k split between 150 charities is always better than nothing. But isn't that like $133 and some change? Each of those tires cost more than that. Mexoplex 5 Million

I hate to be a stickler but I live in the land where drifting was born and perfected as a sport, Japan. I don't think the Japanese and I certainly don't think skidding a car around a track that is being watered constantly qualifies as "real" drifting. Do it on a dry track and then I'll take notice.


I agree, $20,000 split 150 ways isn't doing a lot for any one charity - only for BMW who will get their name on placards in magazines and a few walls of said charity organizations. That said, I live 15 miles form the test center and BMW really does do a lot for local charities as a whole, as well as numerous other benefits (they host SCCA AX's, are a big funder for one of our pilot public school projects, etc).

I do find it interesting they chose Continental rather than local Michelin who they've partnered with since their arrival in Greenville...

Vince Pack

I agree with Simon.

Sorry BMW - somebody should have told you (continually) watering down the track is cheating when it comes to drift challenges and records.

Besides - drifting on a watered down track isn't drifting at all - it's called "sliding."

Case in point: Get a slip n' slide mat, set it out on your lawn and try to "drift" on it totally dry. Ok - now that you're covered in plastic rash and blisters let's try it again. This time thoroughly soak the plastic with water and voila your drifting quite easily aren't you ..... wait a minute ..... why don't they call it a slip n' drift then ?

Jason Pase

Driving a car this way for this long for any such trivial purpose is just Pissing Away a lot of fuel and a set of fairly expensive tires. I am not even slightly impressed and I think Gizmag should have higher standards. This kind of article is only a small step up from the ones promoting that IDIOT who build various sorts of very dangerous toy weapons. Another area that Gizmag should scorn.


I agree! Tires would not even last..........


Why stop at spraying water on the track with "high performance" tires? Just drive on a frozen lake bed next time on bald truck tires...but what was the challenge again?


pointless fossil fuel burning is pointless - not that "real" drifting has any particular purpose either...


Looks like fun.

Terri Lawson

Spot on Simon I was in an URQ (350whp) drifting, we did it on dry streets, in a AWD classic, wetting the road is cheating, causing a yawn

Bill Bennett

Simon, drifting was not born in Japan as a sport and it certainly wasn't perfected there.

Denis Klanac

Since this is so easy according to everyone here, go do it! Set yourself a world record! Talk is so cheap!

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