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RECORD-BREAKING.RECORD-BREAKING.

RECORD-BREAKING.

8 min reading time

Behind the Scenes: The BMW M2’s record lap on the Nordschleife.

Excellent engineering, painstaking preparation and a great team with loads of experience – how the BMW M2 achieved the Nürburgring record.

30 August 2023

The engine’s running, the driver’s behind the wheel. As soon as he gives the sign, the crew are ready to whip the warmers off the tyres, turn the lever rods of the hydraulic jacks in sync to the left and put the BMW M2 back on its wheels so that it can get going. On a flying start on the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring. To go out and break records.

BMW M2 Coupé:
CO2 emissions combined in g/km 231-226 [223-218] (WLTP)
Fuel consumption combined in l/100km 10.2-10.0 [9.9-9.6] (WLTP)

MONTHS OF PREPARATION.

Four Cars, One Day - BMW M Fast Laps at the Nürburgring.Four Cars, One Day - BMW M Fast Laps at the Nürburgring.

Four Cars, One Day - BMW M Fast Laps at the Nürburgring.

START VIDEO

“100% SERIES VEHICLES.”

Today is all about records for series vehicles, something that BMW M takes very seriously: Even though the team could make changes to the vehicles within the regulations, they don’t. “Generally speaking, our credo for record runs is: We use 100% series vehicles that can be bought just as they are now”, says Klaus Huber, head of Driving dynamics and setup at BMW M. If for example a car goes for a record with a carbon roof and bucket seats, these must also be purchasable for this model. The Track tyres are also part of the BMW M original equipment.

20.832 kilometres

is the official length of the Nordschleife lap with a flying start.
BMW M2 in the pitlaneBMW M2 in the pitlane

Time to go: All four men on the jacks raise an arm – the sign that the BMW M2 has been set down and the jacks are no longer under the vehicle. The record car is headed for the Nordschleife access. Right behind the BMW M2 is a second M automobile. The striking BMW M3 Touring in the extrovert Isle of Man Green Metallic paintjob is a so-called Rescue Vehicle with two fire extinguishers on board. If there was an accident, the driver would be able to help the record attempt car more quickly than the track marshals on foot.

BMW M2 at the entrance of the NordschleifeBMW M2 at the entrance of the Nordschleife

THE PLACE IS BUZZING.

One day before the scheduled record attempt, things really get going. Most vehicles drive to the Eifel under their own steam, just like a real M automobile should: Besides their racetrack capability, they’re also perfectly suited to everyday use and long-distance cruising. Only top-secret models due to be launched shortly come under cover of a trailer. The destination however remains the same: the BMW M Test Centre at the Nürburgring. On record days, the workshop here is the control centre. 24 hours before an attempt the place is buzzing. All the hydraulic lifts are occupied, tool trolleys trundle noisily about, the typical squeal of rubber tyres on concrete floors can be heard everywhere. Final vehicle checks are made.

THE TÜV HAS TO GIVE ITS GO.

BMW M4 CSL on the scaleBMW M4 CSL on the scale
Weighing is part of the TÜV approval before the record run.

Today, the vehicles are not only being prepared for the record attempt on the Nordschleife – the most important item on the agenda in the Test Centre is the TÜV (Technischer Überwachungsverein; the german equivalent to the MoT) approval. The test engineer examines the vehicles painstakingly. His clearance is the precondition that tomorrow’s record attempt is allowed to take place. And the procedure goes a lot further than a TÜV general inspection. The BMW M models are also weighed, the vehicle identification numbers checked and the various different components like rims, suspension and engine scrutinized. The TÜV technician documents everything and takes photos. Before the record attempt can take place the following day, the inspector checks the cars again briefly and monitors the preparations on the track. It’s a closely-meshed procedure to make sure that only series vehicles take part.

NürburgringNürburgring
Equipped with two stopwatches and a light barrier, a notary oversees and verifies the laptime.

The second official and one of the most important people on a day of record attempts is the notary. Before the start, he confirms the TÜV approval, monitors the timekeeping and is positioned at the tourist entrance to the Nürburgring. This is where the lap times are recorded and verified.

FINAL DISCUSSIONS.

The BMW M Team in the pit garageThe BMW M Team in the pit garage
The evening before the record attempt: the last team meeting in the BMW M Test Centre at the Nürburgring.
The perfect matching of suspension, engine, transmission and co is a series component of our vehicles: We achieve records in SPORT mode which was tuned to suit the Nürburgring.
Klaus Huber, Head of Driving dynamics and setup at BMW M

The record-hungry BMW M2 and the Rescue Vehicle drive onto the Döttinger Höhe and disappear out of sight. The sound of the engines dies away. The team has watched both BMW M automobiles go and then immediately begun preparations for the next lap. The crew is now in a white trackside pavilion containing more than a dozen sets of wheels, most covered by tyre warmers. 70° Celsius is the ideal temperature for the tyres for most M models. The crew tear open the Velcro fastenings to warm the next set. In between, the quiet hissing of the air pump can be heard. The tyre pressure has to be perfect to ensure all four wheels have the best possible grip on the track.

RECORDS NEED THE RIGHT FEELING.

ONLY THREE RUNS.

BMW M development engineer and racing driver Jörg WeidingerBMW M development engineer and racing driver Jörg Weidinger
After a test lap, Jörg Weidinger notes down new air pressures. He defines a different value for each tyre. Tenths of a bar can be decisive.

And the dress rehearsal is already a success: Driver Jörg Weidinger senses that he’s beaten the old lap record, but could go one better. As soon as the BMW M automobile is back at the starting point, he jumps out of the car and notes down new tyre pressures. He has three goes for this M model, then all the fresh tyres are used up. Used tyres wouldn’t bring the performance peak needed to make the difference between a fast lap and a record lap. The new tyres are fitted, the tank filled and Jörg Weidinger starts his first attempt at the record.

A black BMW M2 at the NürburgringA black BMW M2 at the Nürburgring
Final spurt: After the long straight, the finish isn’t far away.

A brief moment of excitement on the Nordschleife approach: The BMW M2 on course for the record is heading for the long straight between Döttinger Höhe and Tiergarten. The crew swarm to the trackside, some whip out mobile phones to capture the moment. In solemn silence, they watch the record vehicle appear, drowning out the birdsong with its throaty roar. It shoots past and disappears into the rise at Tiergarten. Some distance behind follows the green Rescue Vehicle, now turning into the Nordschleife approach. The last section to the light barrier which ends the timed lap has to be covered by the record vehicle by itself.

We know what the vehicles are capable of. But in the end, you only see on the day of the record attempt whether all the factors fit.
Jörg Weidinger, development engineer general setup BMW M

ALL-IN FOR ONE LAP.

COOLING DOWN ON EIFEL ROADS.

The BMW M record team The BMW M record team
Klaus Huber, Head of Driving Dynamics and setup at BMW M, Dirk Häcker, Head of Development at BMW M, Frank Weishar, development engineer for wheels, tyres and driving dynamics at BMW M and driver Jörg Weidinger, development engineer for general setup at BMW M.
RECORD RUN IN THE BMW M2.RECORD RUN IN THE BMW M2.

RECORD RUN IN THE BMW M2.

The new BMW M2 is the fastest in its class: Jörg Weidinger drove the model around the legendary Nordschleife in well under 7 minutes and 40 seconds. In doing so, he left the competitors of the compact sports cars behind him and once again took pole position. Find out how he did it in the video.

Read more
FAST LAP IN THE BMW M3 CS.FAST LAP IN THE BMW M3 CS.

FAST LAP IN THE BMW M3 CS.

The BMW M3 CS also proved its potential on the Nordschleife: With an impressive lap time, test driver Jörg Weidinger steered the super-sporty M3 sedan around the Ring.

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BMW M4 CSL WITH NEW RECORD.BMW M4 CSL WITH NEW RECORD.

BMW M4 CSL WITH NEW RECORD.

In the first attempt in 2022, the conditions were not quite perfect. And so Jörg Weidinger took the opportunity to roll the BMW M4 CSL to the grid once again. The result speaks for itself: with a new best time on the Nordschleife, the BMW M test driver beat his previous record by two seconds. Find out how he did it in this video.

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BMW M3 CS:
CO2 emissions in g/km (combined) 234-229 (WLTP)
Fuel consumption in l/100 km (combined) 10.4-10.1 (WLTP)
BMW M4 CSL:
CO2 emissions combined in g/km 227-224 (WLTP)
Fuel consumption combined in l/100 km 10.1-9.9 (WLTP)

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