Move over, Sabine Schmitz.
There's any number of vehicles that could crack the ten-minute barrier at the Nürburgring. After all, there are supercars capable of doing it in under seven minutes, and even hot hatches lapping in under eight. But a full-size cargo van?
That's just the (unofficial) record now set in a Volkswagen Transporter – and not some hyper-modified one, either. The lap time was achieved in a showroom-stock van with a 150-horsepower diesel engine. But it did have a professional racing driver behind the wheel, of course: namely British Touring Car Championship driver Rob Austin.
Austin's yet to win a championship title, but he's won multiple races in the BTCC as well as the British GT4 series and even Formula 3. He currently drives an Alfa Romeo Giulietta in the touring-car series for HMS Racing, sponsored by Northgate Vehicle Hire that supplied the van for this record attempt.
At the end of the two-day venture, Austin managed a lap time of 9 minutes and 58 seconds. That puts him ahead of the 10:08 set by Sabine Schmitz, the unofficial mistress of the 'Ring, thirteen years ago, back in 2005.
That also makes this the first van to clock a lap time in the single digits. And it was achieved with traffic on the track, too.
“The Transporter has won a host of accolades throughout its history, but this is perhaps one of the most unusual,” said Kate Wright, national rental manager for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. “We’re really excited to be part of this record attempt which shows just what our vans can do. Most customers choose them because they’re reliable, cost-effective and offer some of the best technologies available, but maybe this is another good reason to choose one!”