In September of 2011, Chinese drifter Wang Qi broke the Guinness record for the world's longest sustained drift, doing 13 laps inside the Olympic Center Stadium in Tianlin, China for 5,802.3 meters. That was broken in February of this year by Abdo Feghali in Abu Dhabi drifting a new Chevrolet Camaro around a skidpad for 11,180 meters – almost seven miles. In March, BMW decided it wanted the record "back in the US," and set up a course at its BMW Performance Driving School near Greenville, South Carolina to get the job done. On May, 11 it was Mission Accomplished when Performance Center driver Johan Schwartz drifted an M5 around a skidpad continuously for 51.3 miles.

Despite that accomplishment, we're pretty sure that professional drifter Vaughn Gittin, Jr. isn't impressed. The way Guinness defines "drifting" can also describe a donut, which is effectively the kind of drifting that's been done for these last three records. BMW went even further by watering down the surface of the track, reducing the skill required and the need to change tires during the effort. On the other hand, you can't drift a car for long in a straight line, but perhaps there should be some clarification or classifications added to the milestones.

There's a pair of videos below taken during the record-breaking run, and a press release from the company that did it.

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BMW Performance Driving School Sets Guinness World Drift Record With BMW M5 Sedan

Woodcliff Lake, NJ - May 14, 2013... The legendary BMW M5 Sedan shattered the Guinness World Record for longest sustained drift at the BMW Performance Center near Greenville, South Carolina on Saturday, May 11, 2013, with BMW Performance Center Instructor Johan Schwartz behind the wheel. The record-breaking attempt generated over $20,000 in charitable donations benefitting The BMW Charity Pro-Am.

The M5 exceeded the previous record set in February in Abu Dhabi by 47.71 miles. A total of 322.5 laps were completed around the 841-foot (circumference) Performance Center skid pad, providing a total distance-travelled of 51.278 miles. The M-DCT transmission-equipped 2013 BMW M5 Sedan was an unmodified car from the BMW Performance Center school fleet which began the record attempt with a fresh set of Continental ContiSport ultra-high performance tires (sizes 255/30/20 front, 295/30/20 rear).

Saturday's drift record attempt signaled the kick-off to a week of events leading up to the BMW Charity Pro-Am. Over $20,000 was raised for the BMW Charity Pro-Am which benefits over 150 different charities. Public attendees to the record attempt enjoyed drives in new BMW vehicles including the M6 Coupe, and many received a "hot lap" ride from one the BMW Performance Center Instructors. Test drives of the game-changing BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle® on the off-road course were also available. Additional information on the BMW Charity Pro-Am can be found at

BMW Group in America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group's global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 117 MINI passenger car dealers, and 34 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group's sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      Too bad they no longer put LSDs into non-M BMWs. So good luck trying to replicate this with your garden variety Bimmer.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Did it ACTUALLY drift or did the stereo just make drift-like sound?
      • 2 Years Ago
      Who the f*** cares?
      • 2 Years Ago
      To all the haters, let's see you set a Guinness record before whining about others. Guinness records can be broken by individuals too you know, so try something productive instead of being complacent with your boring life and spending all day hating 'cause you have nothing else to do.
        • 2 Years Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      I smell 24 hours of Le-Drift in the horizon...
      • 2 Years Ago
      What a waste of time. Drifting...pfft.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sorry Guinness, Wet track doesn't count. Lets see on a dry surface...
        John Hughan
        • 2 Years Ago
        A wet track makes it easier to start sliding, but not any easier to precisely control a drift. And tires never would have lasted that long on a dry track. I for one still recognize that the driver needed serious talent and concentration ability to keep a drift going that long, wet or dry.
        • 2 Years Ago
        There was an official representative from the Guinness Book of Records at the´╗┐ event. Nothing in the rules that said you couldn't use water.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Most unexciting drifts that I have ever seen. This is better drifting than that silly nonsense. :D
      Iosif Bogdan
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oh yes. Let's debate on drift classifications because drifting is not a waste of time. At all.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Iosif Bogdan
      • 2 Years Ago
      What a bunch of non-sense. Focus on making cars that last longer BMW!
      The Wasp
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wonder why they stopped after 51 miles -- the driver probably fell asleep.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @The Wasp
        The water dried up and he could no longer drift, I'd guess.
      • 2 Years Ago
      The driver can surely do more miles with a proper diaper.
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