UPDATE: Thanks to a handful of readers, we received the image above showing Schrick and the Stig embodied in separate meat vessels. That means one of two things: Schrick is NOT the Stig or Top Gear employs several Stigs.
Certain mysteries aren't meant to be solved, and when it comes to the Stig, ignorance is bliss. But when we got a tip about Top Gear's top test driver caught walking around without his trademark white helmet, we were simultaneously skeptical and intrigued.
The Top Gear crew was caught on one of its legendary crap can races, this time with stripped-out compacts strapped to the roof, when someone wielding a video camera outside of the racetrack caught a glimpse of an unmasked driver wearing what is assumed to be the Stig's white racing suit and carrying a matching white helmet. The blurry shots appeared on Autoblog.nl (no relation) and the speculative efforts of the Dutch enthusiast community pegged the man behind the mask as ace test driver Tim Schrick.
Schrick has had his fair share of publicity, primarily doing reviews for a few German television shows (we've posted a video of him caning the Porsche Carrera GT after the jump), and although the screen captures above doesn't give us a clear view of Schrick (we think he looks a bit older), it's the most plausible theory available.
The question that always pops into our minds when we hear about another spotting of the Stig is whether Top Gear employs different drivers for different segments of the show. Jeremy, May and Hammond were on the set, so it's conceivable that Schrick is the "real" Stig, but unless other evidence is offered, we remain comfortable assuming that the Stig is part man, part machine and all bad-ass. Thanks for the tip, Laurens!