The number on the speedometer climbs higher and higher, the engine howls, the rear end breaks away, the car skids skilfully around the bend: a perfect drift at 231.66 km/h! At the wheel of the BMW E92 is Bartosz Ostalowski, the only professional sports driver in the world who steers with his feet. Bartosz Ostalowski makes motorsport history with this daring manoeuvre: he sets a Guinness World Record for the fastest drift in a vehicle steered by foot!
Bartosz Ostalowski really feels at home on four tyres, with plenty of horsepower under the bonnet. His motto is that "impossible" is not an option. In the Polish Drift Championships and the European leagues, he successfully competes on a par with non-disabled drivers. In 2019, he finished third in the general classification of the DMP PRO2 class, winning the title of Drifting Vice Champion of Poland. "I'm extremely driven by looking for new challenges. Throughout my life, I try to overcome various barriers. This time my goal was to break the speed barrier and set a Guinness World Record," explains Bartosz Ostalowski.
With his spectacular drift, he replaces Jakub Przygoński, the previous Polish record holder for the fastest drift. In his world record attempt, Bartosz Ostalowski beat Przygoński by 13.96 km/h to secure the title. "I'm incredibly happy to have achieved my goal! At this speed, you feel every bump, everything goes extremely fast. This experience can't be compared to anything else. I'm proud because I've proved once again that there's huge potential in each of us, allowing us to have success," says Bartosz Ostalowski.
The venue for the successful world record attempt was Piła airfield in Poland. It has a two-kilometre-long and 60-metre-wide runway, which allows for high speeds and ensures safe conditions. High-precision measuring devices were used to record the speed and the angle of inclination – after all, the spectacular drift had to be documented beyond doubt. But, of course, Bartosz Ostalowski not only needed a suitable stretch for his project, but also a suitable vehicle. Under the bonnet of his BMW called "Fury" is a powerful seven-litre LS3 twin-turbocharged V8 engine producing 1,000 horsepower and a maximum torque of 1,280 Nm. It uses a ZF 8HP90 automatic transmission with individual control.
HELLA was one of the companies supporting Bartosz Ostalowski in implementing his project. "Seeing the record attempt live was incredibly impressive because I didn't expect such high speeds. It's pure madness! Here Bartosz convinces us that 'normality' is overrated and that it pays to swim against the tide," says Marcin Rozner, Product Marketing Manager at HELLA Poland.