WORLD’S FASTEST VAN
Two van records to be broken, by Brit racer and serial tea drinker, Guy Martin.
GUY MARTIN’S WORLD’S FASTEST VAN TV show recently aired in NZ, showcasing the Brit motorcycle racer’s efforts to break both the top speed and Germany’s Nurburgring Nordeschleife lap record for a van. Using his written-off and rebuilt black Ford Transit, thorough modifications included fitting a twin-turbo V6 Ecoboost engine from a Ford GT, producing around 700hp, and mounting in the mid/rear location. The record to beat around the Nurburgring was 9m:57sec, held by a Revo-tuned VW T5 van back in 2013, running a 2.0-litre twinturbo diesel producing around 220hp, which set a lap time of 9m:57sec – this was inspired by the time set by Sabine Schmitz on Top
Gear, while driving a standard Transit van, with a time of 10m:08sec. With the same VW’S driver Dale Lomas, a Nurburgring driving instructor, as passenger guiding him around the lap, the Ford was on track and clearly faster until a small fire in the engine three-quarters of the way through the 21km lap, from a small oil leak onto the exhaust manifold. Martin pressed on, continued down the 2km straight and finished the lap, extinguished the fire, and recorded a lap time of 9m:28sec, 29 seconds faster than Lomas and 40 seconds faster than Schmitz in the standard Transit van. Martin also attempted to set the top speed record. At the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA, the same van set out to break the record set by the Ford Supervan 2, way back in 1984, at 176mph (283km/h), which ran a mid-mounted 3.2-litre Cosworth V8 making 590hp. Martin’s wide tyres hampered his efforts on the salt, the semi-serious effort falling short about 10mph.
Far left: Previous Nurburgring lap record holder, Revo-tuned VW T5. Left: Top speed record holder, the Ford Supervan 2, set back in 1984.