Tomorrow, BMW will attempt to reclaim the Guinness World Record for longest vehicle drift when former record holder Johan Schwartz helms an M5 around a track for eight hours of driving sideways. And instead of following new rules which would allow them to stop for gas or install a bigger tank, because that would be too obvious, BMW engineers have instead opted to take a cue from military aircraft and pursue car-to-car fueling while both cars are mid-drift.
As shown in the video above, engineers removed the rear seats and installed a custom fuel cell in the trunk area, borrowed components from the aviation and other industries and machined some custom fittings. The system they've come up with involves having the supply car drift up within about two feet of the record-attempt car, with a guy hanging out the back window, and transferring 15 to 18 gallons of fuel in just 50 seconds. All while both cars are fully drifting.
Schwartz set the Guinness World Record back in 2013, going 51.3 miles in an M5 at the BMW Performance Driving School in South Carolina. That was broken by Harald Müller, who went 89.55 miles around a .15-mile course in Turkey in a Toyota GT86 the next year, and then again last June by South African journalist Jesse Adams again in a GT86, who went 102.5 miles (his record is still pending certification). Adams drifted for almost six hours and more than 1,000 laps of the tiny skid pad in South Africa, and he had a large fuel tank.
It's all a bit flashy, but fun if they can pull it off. We'll see how tomorrow's daring attempt goes.