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The Good Old Stig Days – 2003-2010

As Top Gear’s Stig, Ben Collins tested an unprecedented variety of cars during his eight-year tenure and pushed them to the edge of the envelope around the test track. Some say that his heart rate never exceeded 80 beats per minute at Dunsfold, all we know he’s now back racing at Le Mans where his heart belongs.

Car used Time (mins) Ben’s Verdict
Bugatti Veyron SS 1.16.8 Brute beauty. Sometimes 1,000 BHP just isn’t enough
Gumpert Apollo 1.17.1 Handled like a Le Mans car and stuck to the road like a squashed toad
Ascari A10 1.17.3 It’s Yellow. & Possibly fastest on a dry track.
Koenigsegg CCX 1.17.6 Insane tub-thumper. Easier to rip the head off a spitting cobra in the dark (with Top Gear spoiler) than drive one without a spoiler
Noble M600
Pagani Zonda F Roadster
Caterham R500
Bugatti Veyron
Pagani Zonda F
Maserati MC12
Ferrari Enzo
Lamborghini LP670 SV
Ferrari 458
Ariel Atom
Lamborghini LP560
Ferrari Scuderia
Nissan GT-R
Lamborghini LP640
Porsche Carerra GT
Koenigsegg CCX
Corvette ZR1
Ascari KZ1
Mercedes McLaren SLR
Ferrari 599GTB
Audi R8 V10
Ford GT
Porsche 911 Turbo Convertable
Audi R8 V10 Spyder
Ferrari 360 CS
Porsche GT3 RS
Corvette Z06
Noble M15
Lexus LFA
Mercedes SL Black
Murcielago
Zonda
Koenigsegg
Aston Martin DBS
Veritas RS III
Prodrive P2
Audi R8
TVR Sagaris
Mitsubishi Evo FQ400
TVR Tuscan
Bentley Continental Supersports
Porsche Boxster Spyder
Merc E63 AMG
Noble M400
Lotus Exige S
BMW M3 Saloon
Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder
Lotus Evora
Lamborghini Gallardo
BMW Z4 M
Porsche Cayman
Porsche 911 Carrera 2S
Brabus Biturbo Roadster
BMW M5
VXR Bathurst
Lotus Exige
Jaguar XFR
Chevrolet Corvette
Lexus IS-F
Mercedes CLS 55 AMG
Aston Martin Vanquish S
Aston Martin DB9
Holden Maloo
Telsa Roadster
Porsche 911 GT3
TVR 350C
Nissan 370Z
Camaro
BMW M3 CSL
Roush Mustang
Renault Megane R26R
BMW Z4
Marcos TSO GT2
Subaru WRX Sti
BMW X5M
Mitsubishi Evo X
Dodge Viper SRT-10
MG SV
Porsche 911 Carrera S
Mitsubishi Evo VIII
BMW Alpina Z8
Mercedes CL65
Ford Focus RS
VW Golf W12
Alfa 3.7 GTA Autodelta
Ford Shelby GT500
Subaru Impreza STI
Vauxhall Monaro VXR
Aston Martin DB7 GT
Golf R32
Audi S4
Porsche 911 Turbo
BMW 760Li
Vauxhall VX220 turbo
Vauxhall VXR8
New Audi TT
Honda NSX Type R
BMW M3
Nissan 350Z
Mazda RX-8
BMW 535d
BMW 130
Mercedes S63 AMG
Ford Focus RS
Mazda 6 MPS
Lotus Esprit V8
Audi TT V6
MG ZT
Noble M12 GTO
Mercedes SL 55 AMG
Volkswagen Golf R32
Audi Q7 V12 TDI
Cadillac CTS
Honda Civic Type-R
Holden Monaro
Ford Mondeo ST220
Jaguar XKR
Ford Focus ST
Volvo S60R
Ferrari 575M
Vauxhall Vectra VXR
Our Car
Fiat 500 Abarth
Alfa 147 GTA
Lotus Elise
Aston Martin Vanquish
Renault Clio V6
Honda Civic Type R
Alfa Romeo Brera
Saab 95 Aero
Maserati 3200 GT
Alfa Romeo 8C
Bowler Wildcat
Bentley Arnarge
Overfinch Range Rover

1.17.7
1.17.7
1.17.9
1.18.3
1.18.4
1.18.9
1.19.0
1.19.0
1.19.1
1.19.5
1.19.5
1.19.7
1.19.7
1.19.8
1.19.8
1.20.4
1.20.4
1.20.7
1.20.9
1.21.2
1.21.6
1.21.9
1.22.2
1.22.3
1.22.3
1.22.3
1.22.4
1.22.5
1.22.8 (wet)
1.23.0
1.23.7
1.23.8
1.23.9
1.23.93
1.24.2
1.24.3
1.24.4
1.24.6
1.24.8
1.24.8
1.24.9
1.24.9
1.24.9
1.25.0
1.25.1
1.25.3
1.25.7
1.25.7
1.25.8
1.26.0
1.26.2
1.26.2
1.26.2
1.26.2
1.26.3
1.26.4
1.26.7
1.26.8
1.26.8
1.26.9
1.27.1
1.27.1
1.27.1
1.27.2
1.27.2
1.27.5
1.27.5
1.27.9
1.28.0
1.28.0
1.28.1
1.28.2
1.28.2
1.28.2
1.28.2
1.28.22
1.28.5
1.28.6
1.28.9
1.28.9
1.29.0
1.29.0
1.29.3
1.29.6
1.30.0
1.30.0
1.30.1
1.30.1
1.30.4
1.30.4
1.30.9
1.31.0
1.31.2
1.31.3
1.31.3
1.31.4
1.31.6
1.31.8
1.31.8
1.31.8
1.31.8
1.31.9
1.32.0
1.32.2
1.32.2
1.32.5
1.32.7
1.33.0
1.33.1
1.33.2
1.33.2
1.33.2
1.33.3
1.33.5
1.33.9
1.34.5
1.34.7
1.34.9
1.35.0
1.35.2
1.35.3
1.35.4
1.35.5
1.35.6
1.35.6
1.36.2
1.36.2
1.36.5
1.36.9
1.37.9
1.38.0
1.38.2
1.39.4
1.40.8
1.44.0

Powerslides in every gear, gotta love that Turbo.
Suzuki Liana 1:44.4 driven by The Stig in the 8th series, put on the F1 board, but not put on the studio lap time board
Aston Martin DB5 1.46.0  
Hawk HF 3000 1.48.2  

Once a week, for nearly eight years, Ben strapped himself alongside people who were famous for something other than driving. He guided them around Dunsfold’s infamous Test Track as fast a humanly possible in a reasonably priced car and survived to tell the tale. Herewith the roll of honor of those brave souls who put pedal to metal to set a lap time.
The KIA Cee’d was the latest mount for Season 15, Korea’s answer to a luke warm bath.
(w) = denotes wet course

Series 15:

Celebrity Time (mins) Ben’s Verdict
Tom Cruise
Cameron Diaz
Rupert Grint
Peter Jones
Andy Garcia
Alastair Campbell
Al Murray
Jeff Goldblum
Peta, 23 from Essex
Nick Robinson
Bill Bailey
Amy Williams
Johnny Vaughan
Louie Spence
1.44.2
1.45.2
1.45.5
1.45.9
1.46.1
1.47.0
1.48.1
1.49.0
1.49.9
1.49.9
1.50.8 (w)
1.50.9 (w)
1.53.3 (w)
1.53.69 (w)
10/10 – top bloke, top of the board, made me wonder if he actually flew the Tomcats in ‘Top Gun’..

From season 8 to 14 we rode aboard the Chevrolet Lacetti, a car so tame that it thought it was a kitten called Luc.

Celebrity Time (mins) Ben’s Verdict
Jay Kay
Brian Johnson
Kevin McCloud
Simon Cowell
Jennifer Saunders
Michael Sheen
Gordon Ramsay
Usain Bolt
Peter Jones
Trevor Eve
Peter Firth
Lawrence Dellaglio
Les Ferdinand
Eric Bana
Jamie Oliver
Hugh Grant
Well spoken man (James Hewitt)
Ewan McGregor
Rupert Penry-Jones
Chris Evans
Billie Piper
James Blunt
Justin Hawkins
Simon Pegg
Theo Paphitis
Mark Wahlberg
Michael McIntyre
David Tennant
Jay Leno
Will Young
Sir Michael Parkinson
Ronnie Wood
Harry Enfield
Sienna Miller
Jools Holland
Sir Michael Gambon
Alan Davies
Steve Coogan
Stephen Fry
Alan Carr
Ray Winstone
Keith Allen
Rob Brydon
Justin Lee Collins
Seasick Steve
Tom Jones
Guy Ritchie
Dame Helen Mirren
James Corden
Kristin Scott Thomas
Philip Glenister
Kate Silverton
Rick Wakeman
Boris Johnson
Fiona Bruce
Brian Cox
Jimmy Carr
1.45.8
1.45.9
1.45.9
1.45.9
1.46.1
1.46.3
1.46.38
1.46.5
1.46.9
1.47.09
1.47.1
1.47.4
1.47.41
1.47.5
1.47.68 (wet)
1.47.7
1.47.69
1.48.0
1.48.1
1.48.1
1.48.3
1.48.4 (wet)
1.48.44
1.48.5
1.48.5
1.48.7
1.48.7
1.48.8
1.48.8
1.48.9
1.49.4
1.49.5
1.49.7
1.49.8
1.49.9
1.50.3
1.50.3
1.50.9 (hot)
1.51.0
1.51.2
1.51.4 (hot)
1.51.7 (wet)
1.51.7 (wet)
1.51.8
1.51.8 (wet)
1.52.2
1.52.5 (wet)
1.52.8
1.53.4 (wet)
1.54.0
1.54.3 (wet)
1.54.7 (wet)
1.55.26
1.57.4
1.57.4 (wet)
2.01.0
2.08.91
First order car fanatic, you did it JK!

For Seasons 1-7, the reasonably priced car was the Suzuki Liana. We literally drove the wheels off this poor car, with a little help from Lionel Ritchie, Trevor Eve and Jimmy Carr. It remains my favourite ‘reasonably priced’ machine and the true benchmark for any real Formula One driver… One day, revenge will be mine Rubens Barrichello…

Celebrity Time (mins) Ben’s Verdict
Ellen MacArthur
Jimmy Carr
Simon Cowell
Ronnie O’Sullivan
Ian Wright
Chris Evans
Rory Bremner
Justin Hawkins
Rob Brydon
Jay Kay
Jodie Kidd
Paul McKenna
Patrick Kielty
Trevor Eve
Dr Stephen Ladyman
Neil Morrissey
Roger Daltrey
Jeremy Clarkson
Jamie Oliver
Gordon Ramsay
Patrick Stewart
Lionel Richie
Martin Clunes
Sir Cliff Richard
David Walliams
Sir Ranulph Fiennes
Sanjeev Bhaskar
Timothy Spall
Carol Voderman
James Nesbitt
Christian Slater
Omid Djalili
Joanna Lumley
David Dimbleby
Eddie Izzard
Jordan
Rick Parfitt
Christopher Eccleston
Sir Tim Rice
Steve Coogan
Vinnie Jones
Fay Ripley
Johnny Vaughan and Denise Van Outen
Bill Bailey
Jack Dee
Alan Davies
Stephen Fry
Rich Hall
Martin Kemp
Ross Kemp
Tara Palmer-Tomkinson
David Soul
Michael Gambon
Geri Halliwell
Boris Johnson
Davina McCall
Anne Robinson
Jonathan Ross
Johnny Vegas
Harry Enfield
Billy Baxter
Terry Wogan
Richard Whiteley
1m 46.7
1m 46.9
1m 47
1m 47.3
1m 47.8
1m 47.9
1m 47.9
1m 48
1m 48
1m 48
1m 48
1m 48
1m 48
1m 48.4
1m 48.8
1m 49
1m 49.6 (moist)
1m 50
1m 50
1m 50
1m 50
1m 50
1m 50
1m 50
1m 50.7
1m 51
1m 51 (wet)
1m 51.1
1m 51.2 (moist)
1m 51.3
1m 51.4
1m 51.5
1m 51.5
1m 52
1m 52
1m 52
1m 52
1m 52.4
1m 52.7
1m 53 (wet)
1m 53
1m 53 (mildly moist)
1m 53.2
1m 53.4
1m 53.5
1m 54 (wet)
1m 54 (moist)
1m 54
1m 54 (wet)
1m 54 (wet)
1m 54 (wet)
1m 54
1m 55
1m 55
1m 56
1m 56.9(very wet)
1m 57
1m 57
1m 58
2m 01
2m 02
2m 04
2m 06
Punched well above her weight – the girl is an Über stoic behind the wheel

F1 drivers:

Driver Time (mins) Ben’s Verdict
Rubens Barrichello
Nigel Mansell
Lewis Hamilton
Jenson Button
Jenson Button
Damon Hill
Mark Webber
1m 44.3
1m 44.6
1m 44.7 (damp)
1m 44.7
1m 44.9
1m 46.3
1m 47.52 (very wet)
 

22 comments:

    Tony Anstey says:

    Ben you are the man, congratulations on winning the series at Le Mans. Just a few comments regarding your leaving TopGear and the crazy idiots for not giving you more exposure:

    1. Bring Ben back as fourth host on TopGear…Jeremy is getting old, keeps hurting his neck, and needs to retire!

    2. Who the hell came up with TopGear U.S.A? It sucks, the hosts suck, and should be pulled off the air immediately…please stop!

    3. Did I mention the executives at BBC are idiots for letting you go?

    Ben, good luck for the future not that you need it, I am a big fan, and will be watching your career closely!

    Thanks,

    Tony Anstey

    Dave says:

    Just read your book and couldn’t stop grinning, keep up the good work and make sure you keep sharing what your doing (you know what the rest of us are dreaming of doing!!).

    David Powell says:

    i got your book for christmas, first 1 ive finished for years, its amazing, what a life. i loved the stig, but great to see your getting out as yourself to drive real machines again! good luck mate

    Jamie says:

    Ben, I just wanted to wish you all the best with your new ventures. I know the move from TG has been tough but you still have the support of millions of fans worlwide…far more supporters than you might imagine. your time as the white Stig has entertained and inspired people and you brought mystique and charisma to the role. a brilliant example. my 2 year old lad walks around with his model stig everywhere! keep up the good work and keep us up to date on your new projects. good luck mate.

    Dave Ward says:

    as an American Top Gear fan, let me say that Clarkson, Hammond, May, and the BBC are all full of shit. It was always exciting seeing The Stig take the next car out, seeing how hard you could push it. Top Gear has seriously damaged itself with this. good luck!

    Peter Endres says:

    I’m from Brazil and my name is Peter Endres and would like to know what are your favorite cars and because you both like and how to drive them.

    Jon says:

    Ben,

    You will always be the ultimate Stig to me… Just an average Canadian here who has watched every episode of TopGear and had independently put together that you were the Stig long before your book came out and have followed your career outside of Dunsfold Park as well.

    Best of luck and safe going in your future endeavors.

    janice adamski (jerseyjan) says:

    Ben,
    will miss you!! The show just won,t be the same. I have enjoyed watching you drive all those cars for the last few years. I am not a “gearhead”. I am a mom in her 50’s. still, it has been fun! good luck in all you do.

    Pete Griffiths says:

    I’d just like to say that as The Stig you gave many many people a lot of pleasure.
    Thank you.

    Peter Endres says:

    Ben forgot to do a lap with the Aston Martin V8 and V12 Vantage.

    Johnvon says:

    Ben read the book, loved every page.
    we need you to make an appearance at our little race we hold every year
    www.youtube.com
    Your the greatest man!

    Kevin Roberts says:

    I’m from Germany, but i have Batakian blood. I want to say that you are the most great talented driver. I want to say that TopGear have some seriously Biggest mistake. I want to say to them, Clarkson, Hammond, & May why you erasing the greatest talented driver? And Why just because lost by Rubens Barrichello directly replaced to more drivers?
    Anyway, I want to say Good Luck for your new Future. Thanks

    Kevin Roberts

    John Karteros says:

    Ben forgot to post Lewis Hamilton’s lap

    Zlate says:

    I wonder will you ever come back to TG as a SPESIAL guest STAR??

    Erika says:

    I only started watching TG about a year or so ago and therefore only recently learned about the trouble you encountered after revealing yourself. I absolutely support you for doing so, and I only wish that the Top gear crew had as well. You did not get the respect, the exposure, or likely the salary, that you deserved. You are an amazing driver and I wish you all the best! You will always be The Stig to me. :)

    christian kay says:

    To Ben

    I got your book for my birthday – fantastic read! Because of you I’ve gone and bought Le Mans the moview with Steve McQueen in it and I’m watching it as I email this. Great stuff.

    Good luck with all your racing and tv post BBC and hope to see you at Le Mans in June 2011.

    Christian

    jean says:

    I for one do not watch top gear any more.
    Clarkson is full of himself,he forgets the people who put him where is. Its along way down and clarckson has no parachute. James May grow some balls,as for hammond he not that far behind clarckson!
    Good luck ben you will be rememberd when ALL clarckson left is to shag is way thru top gear staff . Ben Collins was top gear.

    Riaan says:

    Ben, you’ll always be the best Stig there was. Good luck for the future.

    Dan says:

    Hi Ben ,

    you are the motoring soul of TG .
    Disappointed by Hammond that did not recognized you :( Well maybe he could not see so high.
    But we will always will !

    I simply could not leave your website before suggesting that I really loved the standard info an individual provide to your visitors? Is gonna be again ceaselessly to investigate cross-check new posts

    regjyfnjh says:

    I?m not certain the place you are getting your info, however great topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or figuring out more. Thanks for magnificent info I used to be in search of this info for my mission.

    Lucy says:

    I would like to know what’s new with Ben Collins. I read that Ben was in Poland, but could not find the details since it was in Polish.

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© Ben Collins 2012. All rights reserved.
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