The British tabloids just can’t help themselves.
Barely days after Top Gear unveils the replacement for Ben Collins’ Stig, the UK tabloids have hit fever pitch with speculation as to who is the mystery individual behind the white Simpson helmet on one of the BBC’s most popular shows.
And the latest suggestion is that this new Stig could actually be a Stigette!
The news emerged in the wake of some hints that host Jeremy Clarkson gave during his intro piece for the Stig, where he said: “The Stig comes up to my legs and makes Richard Hammond look like a giant. All the good racing drivers these days are very small.”
The Daily Mail has since suggested that the new ‘tame racing driver’ could be none other than German driving ace Sabine Schmitz, a former BMW driver and TV presenter who has had a lengthy association with the show.
Born near the Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit, Schmitz was the first woman to win a major 24-hour motor race, taking wins at the 1996 and 1997 Nürburgring 24 Hours.
Schmitz rose to prominence in Top Gear circles after beating a lap-time of the Nordschleife posted by Clarkson in a Jaguar S-Type diesel at her first attempt – by a margin of 47 seconds!
After that effort, she boasted that the could beat Clarkson’s 9m59s lap time in a van, and in the following season, the show’s producers gave her a Ford Transit van and the opportunity to strut her stuff again: he best effort was an incredible 10m8s.
Whoever it may be, the new Stig certainly impressed in their first outing, smashing the lap record on the show’s test track with an effort 1m15.1s in an Ariel Atom V8. The Stig also managed the train that episode’s Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car, comedian John Bishop, to post the fastest ever lap time by a non-professional driver, beating Tom Cruise’s previous record by 1.4 seconds.