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Northgate van laps Nürburgring in under 10mins

Northgate Vehicle Hire has sent a van around the Nürburgring Nordschleife in under ten minutes.

Rob Austin driving the Volkswagen Transporter at the Nürburgring
Rob Austin driving the Volkswagen Transporter at the Nürburgring

The van, a standard Volkswagen Transporter, was driven by British Touring Car Championship driver Rob Austin.

After stripping the bare minimum from the van’s cargo area including ply panelling, Austin managed to record a lap time of 9 minutes 58 seconds.

Having driven for over 8 hours to reach the ‘ring Austin said that he wouldn’t try to go faster than fellow race driver Sabine Schmitz, who set a lap time record in a Ford Transit with a time of 10 minutes 8 seconds in 2005. Since then, the record has been broken but only by modified vans.

For Austin’s attempt, a “bog standard” Volkswagen T6 Transporter 150PS version was used, according to Austin, who added that, “we didn’t want to make it too easy”.

The first attempt was a 10 minute 12 second lap time, hindered by yellow flags. To increase the lap speed for their next attempt, Rob and his support crew decided to “add lightness” and alter the tyre pressures, as well as “make a hole in the air” with the aid of slipstreaming a vehicle in front.

Austin is sponsored by Northgate in the BTCC. Speaking of his sponsorship, Rob said: “Working with Northgate has been an absolute pleasure. We have been working together on many exciting projects to look out for. Watch this space.”

The lap was undertaken as part of Northgate’s Project Eifel Geist.

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Written by Jonathan Musk

Jonathan turned to motoring journalism in 2013 having founded, edited and produced Autovolt - one of the UK's leading electric car publications. He has also written and produced books on both Ferrari and Hispano-Suiza, while working as an international graphic designer for the past 15 years. As the automotive industry moves towards electrification, Jonathan brings a near-unrivalled knowledge of EVs and hybrids to Fleet World Group.

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