Learn how BMW re-fueled mid-drift during its Guinness World Record attempt

BMW set out to attempt a Guinness World Record for the longest-distance drift in eight hours, but the task presented a unique challenge. If BMW was to set the record, how would the team refuel the car without stopping? Previous record setters equipped cars with a massive fuel tank, but BMW and Detroit Speed team came up with a different solution: refueling mid-drift.

Johan Schwartz, who set the previous world record, will pilot a 2018 BMW M5 in the record attempt. He said he was compelled to reclaim the crown after his previous record was bested. And BMW thought a big fuel tank was too boring. So, they looked at aircraft and how planes refuel in the air. Thus, car-to-car refueling was born.

The team’s solution utilizes engineering from commercial and aircraft industries. Meanwhile, the M5 was modified to fit a custom fuel cell, where the back seat would normally go. During the drift, the fuel car will wait for the signal and the fuel car will drift alongside the record-attempt car—within two feet—and transfer 15 to 18 gallons of fuel.

Tandem drifting while refueling; you have our attention, BMW.

It sure sounds like BMW has a record to us, but we don’t have the proof just yet. BMW will release the record-attempt video January 9 to show how the 2018 M5, and the team’s fueling process, performed.

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