Every type of car gets tested at the Nurburgring so there’s a lap record for just about any vehicle. Some of you might remember German female driver Sabine Schmitz taking a standard spec Ford Transit van around the 12 mile lap for Top Gear a few years back. She set a 10 minute and 8 seconds time that she predicted would never be beaten.
The sub-10 minute time was made possible because the standard T5’s 2.0 litre turbocharged diesel has been upgraded to produce 220bhp. A bespoke ECU remap, a Milltek exhaust system and a Forge intercooler have also added speed. A Bilstein’s B14 coilover kit, alloys by Team Dynamics and a set of Direzza tyres from Dunlop have also contributed to the record time.
The driver, Dale Lomas, is an expert at the Nurburgring, which also helped the VW T5 establish the record. Although the challenge was a welcome one for the British driver, he has admitted that driving the van was a lot of fun. “The thing is an absolute hoot, and surprisingly nimble and compliant,” he said after the run. It must have been a big change to the Suzuki GSX-R1000K7 super bike he used to establish a 7:35 time a few years back.
Although the Revo Volkswagen T5 has broken the Top Gear record with a run of 9 minutes and 57.36 seconds, this van has been modified so technically the record it created should be considered separately to the one that Sabine Schmitz established on Top Gear in 2009.