With all the news going around, claiming BMW will stop offering manual gearboxes on a host of cars, I decided to take a look at how fun shifting gears yourself is and what we’d be missing out on. While driving a manual on the street, especially in traffic, doesn’t seem like the perfect choice, it’s more than recommended to have one on the track. That’s if you want to have fun. If you’re just looking for the best lap time possible, going for a faster DCT gearbox would be preferred. Yet, the driver in the footage posted below managed to set quite a fast lap time on Laguna Seca while using a manual M2.
The man’s name is Shaun Webster according to the video and he posted a lap time of 1:40.492 around the famous circuit, which puts him very close to what Martin Tomczyk managed using a stock M2 on the same circuit. The pro racing driver which was part of BMW’s DTM team back then, went around the Laguna Seca in 1:40.88 which is actually a bit slower than what we’re looking at here. The thing is, the car Shaun is driving isn’t exactly stock.
It had been fitted with a modified suspension and new tires among others so don’t expect to match his performance by simply buying a BMW M2 and taking it straight to the track from the dealership. Nevertheless, the run and the racing lines he takes in the video are impressive and speak of an experienced driver. To put things into perspective a little better, his lap time is faster than a Mercedes-AMG C63 S or a BMW F13 M6, both of those lap times being set by Randy Pobst at 1:40.5 for the Merc and 1:40.52 for the M6.