Built by UK-based Volkswagen tuning company Revo, the 2.0-litre twin-turbo-diesel Volkswagen T5 Transporter recorded a time of 9min57.36sec, breaking the previous record of 10:08 set by Sabine Schmitz in a Ford Transit van on Top Gear in 2005.
Helped along by a retuned electronic control unit (ECU), turbo-back exhaust system, new intercooler and oil cooler, Bilstein coilover suspension, and lightweight Team Dynamics wheels with road legal Dunlop Direzza tyres, the 162kW Revo T5 van completed its full lap, being driven by Dale Lomas, faster than Schmitz could hustle the Transit through its shorter 'Bridge to Gantry' run.
Revo says the ethos behind the attempt was simple: “Drive it the 580 miles (933km) to the 'Ring, complete with all of the crew's kit and gear in the back, drive around the track as fast as possible, and then drive all the way home again. No trailers, no back-up plans, no contingencies.”
Lomas said he’s been asked to drive plenty of different vehicles around the 20.8km Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit, but Revo's request to drive its Volkswagen van was one of the more left-field and exciting.
“The thing is an absolute hoot, and surprisingly nimble and compliant,” Lomas said.
“It's all a bit of fun really, but I'm delighted that we managed a full lap of the Nordschleife in under 10 minutes. I'd love to see what we could do on a clear track.”
In her defence, Schmitz’s Ford Transit lap was performed with the van in standard trim apart from being stripped of the spare wheel, hubcaps and toolkit, and somewhat ‘streamlined’ with gaffer tape.