The Nurburgring Nordschleife has garnered plenty of attention recently, with a glut of new records for front-drive cars and off-roaders. Last week, another record was added to the list, but it didn't involve screaming tires and monstrous speeds. Han Yue used a specially modified Mini Cooper to lap the Nordschleife on two wheels, completing the balancing act in just over 45 precarious minutes.
Okay, so 45 minutes isn't what you'd call fast. In fact it's positively glacial compared to recent fast laps from the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S (7:49.21) and Range Rover Sport SVR (8:14). But significant drama is added if every twitch of the wheel could send the delicately balanced car crashing back onto four wheels. Think of the VW and Range Rover records as their own 100 meter sprint, while the leaning Mini is more of a marathon.
According to Bridge to Gantry, which was at the track covering the attempt, the car ran on solid-construction off-road tires and used a welded differential. Although the car's average speed of 28 km/h (12.4 mph) made life easy for the support and camera cars running alongside the record-breaker, it also meant driver Han Yue was forced to deal with all his body weight leaning to one side for 45 agonizing minutes, longer than initially planned.
A video of the full 45 minute record run is below. It doesn't exactly make for scintillating viewing, but there is something mesmerizing about watching the Mini wobble its way around the track.