Sabine's Nürburgring van record has been broken

By topgear, 13 September 2018

Another week, another Nürburgring lap record. This one’s a wee bit different, though, because it’s not another ‘production’ hot hatch with its back seats removed shaving two seconds from its rivals, nor a supercar on special tyres that no normal human will feasibly use on the road.

Nope, it’s a van, and which means sad news for TG’s Sabine Schmitz, who’s seen her 10m08s lap record in a Ford Transit beaten by a full ten seconds. The driver in question was British Touring Car Championship star Rob Austin, and the van a Volkswagen Transporter.

Not one meticulously prepped by VW in a high-tech lair, rather a rental van from hire company Northgate, who sponsor Rob’s BTCC car. Which, somewhat surprisingly, is an Alfa Romeo Giulietta.

The plot of his record attempt was rather similar to Sabine’s, with lap times in the high 10s leading Rob down the lightweighting path, stripping out seats, spare wheels and suchlike to get the Transporter fighting fit. And able to chase down Focus RSs and BMW M240s, if the video here is to be believed. He’ll be getting extra charges when he returns it to the rental desk…

How many attempts it took, we don’t know, but the 148bhp diesel Transporter clocked a 9m58s, enough to beat Sabine’s Transit and dip under the 10-minute mark she’d been chasing.

Reckon we should convince her to return and claim it back? Van geeks, what should she take?