A standard production model Volkswagen Transporter supplied by Northgate Vehicle Hire has set a new unofficial lap record around the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife race circuit.
The van was piloted by British Touring Car driver Rob Austin, who is normally found behind the wheel of a highly-tuned Alfa Romeo Giulietta.
Rob took some time off his day job to try and beat 10 minute 8 second time set by German racer Sabine Schmitz in a Ford Transit for Top Gear in 2005.
Rob succeeded and clocked up a 9m58s lap, setting an unofficial new record:
As far as I know, this is a record for a standard van. But I do remember that back in 2013, tuning firm Revo souped up an earlier VW Transporter and squeezed out a 9 minute 57 second lap at the ‘Ring:
And finally, no discussions of ‘Ring lap records in vans would be complete without including footage of Sabine Schmitz’s legendary 2005 lap for Top Gear, which she completed in 10m 8s in a rather slower Ford Transit:
You’ve got to love the footage of a Transit van passing fast cars and motorbikes on the Nurburging. Just goes to show that most of the time, speed is about the driver, not the vehicle.