Before race car driver Dennis Retera set the record for the longest EV drift, auto journalist Chris Harris had the opportunity to set it himself. Guinness World Records was on location to verify the run, only allowing three total attempts. Harris used up two of those chances, actually beating the previous record before Retera climbed behind the wheel of the Porsche Taycan. However, it was a challenge for Harris.
The new Top Gear clip highlights Harris’ attempts. By the tenth lap of his first run, Harris is noting his queasy stomach, and four laps later, he’s struggling to see the track through the sun’s glare. He loses control of the Porsche Taycan two laps short of setting the record. His second attempt is much more successful, beating the previous record of 16 laps by two. The video shows Harris working the wheel between his hands, which is a lot of work.
Gallery: Porsche Taycan EV Drift Record
The clip ends with Retera’s successful attempt, and his time behind the wheel is a bit different from that of Harris’. Retera cruises through 10, 20, 50, and 100 laps with ease. The limit isn’t Retera’s drifting ability, but the Taycan itself, which runs out of power at 210 laps – 26 miles (47.171 kilometres) of sideways fun around the 200-metre (656-foot) skidpad. Once he gets the back end out, Retera manages the drift with only one hand on the wheel, begging with about 76 percent left in the battery. A full battery may have resulted in a longer drift.
It took Retera 55 minutes to drain the Taycan’s battery, which would have made many queasy long before. Porsche used a rear-wheel-drive Taycan, averaging just 46 kilometres per hour (29 mph) for the final record-setting run. While it is impressive, it trails the BMW M5 that drifted for 232.5 miles. Though it needed five fuel-ups.