In 2013, Holden put a VF SS Ute on the Nürburgring to take on the record for a commercial or utility vehicle. There was one problem – the record didn’t exist.
Holden dynamics engineer and test driver Rob Trubiani says the pressure of beating a time was gone, but that didn’t make the team any less determined.
“We came up with a plan to tackle the Nürburgring and break the world record for a commercial or utility vehicle but when we did our research it seemed one didn’t exist, so we decided to set a record instead!” Trubiani said.
“For any car enthusiast the Nürburgring is like the Holy Grail. It’s the toughest, craziest, most demanding race track in the world and for the Ute to handle everything that was thrown at it and set the time we did shows what an exceptional vehicle it is,” Trubiani said.
“The Nordschleife section of the ‘Ring is the ultimate test of man and machine.
“If a vehicle can handle The Green Hell it can handle anything and proves yet again that Holden’s testing and development processes produce world-class cars with world-class handling."
The ute was completely standard, aside from an extra little bit of negative camber on the front wheels, though Holden says it was still within production tolerances.
The only things that needed to be changed during the laps were tyres and brakes.
“Without a lap record to break, we sat down and calculated what we thought the Ute could do and targeted around 8min 30sec.
“Initial practice sessions at the track confirmed that was a stretch target so that’s what we aimed for.
A week and 35 laps (or more than 720 flat-out kilometres) later, the team had secured a time it was happy with.
“To slash 11 seconds from that time with an 8m 19.47sec lap was incredible. There may not have been a utility-vehicle record before but I’m proud to say the VF SS V Redline Ute is now the Nürburgring benchmark!”
We hope to see Holden back at The ‘Ring soon for one last hurrah.