Nine minutes and 57.36 seconds. It doesn’t sound very fast for a Nürburgring Nordschleife record, but in a VW T5 2.0 Twin Turbo Diesel van, it no doubt felt wilder than it sounds.
The man behind the wheel was Dale Lomas, best known for his ‘Bridge To Gantry’ Ring website and the van suitably breathed on by VW Group tuning experts Revo, who raised the output of its bi-turbo 2.0-litre diesel engine from 180bhp to 220bhp.
The previous lap record was set by Sabine Schmitz in a Ford Transit van, sitting alongside Jeremy Clarkson on the Top Gear TV Show. The record set by Schmitz, a highly impressive ‘Bridge to Gantry’ time of some 10 minutes and 8 seconds was felt by many – including the talented lady herself – to be about the most that a standard van could do.
Lomas in the Revo-tuned VW T5 completed the ‘Bridge to Gantry’ section in 9 minutes 22 seconds. The full circuit is around a mile longer than the ‘Bridge to Gantry’ lap time set by Sabine’s run in the Transit for Top Gear, making Revo’s new record breaking time seem all the more impressive.
Starting out with a well run-in 80,000 mile example, the Revo technicians fitted a bespoke ECU remap, Milltek ‘turbo-back’ exhaust system and a Forge intercooler/oil cooler combination.
The chassis was modified by the fitment of Bilstein’s B14 coilover kit, and a set of lightweight Team Dynamics wheels fitted with sticky, but fully road legal, Dunlop Direzza tyres.
Lomas commented afterwards, ‘I have been asked to drive many vehicles around the Ring, but I have to say, Revo’s request to pedal their van was one of the more leftfield and exciting. The thing is an absolute hoot, and surprisingly nimble and compliant.”
“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!’