Ben Collins has long been in the frame as a potential Stig, however I don't see anything that confirms this in that news story. As the BBC points out "Ben supplies his services as a driver himself and his company also supplies other drivers" so it is not surprising that his company accounts show up entries for Top Gear driving services.
I'm not saying it isn't him, of course, but this new evidence seems a bit flimsy to say the least.
That said, the first Stig (the one who wore black gear) outed himself in an autobiography some years after leaving the show, and it's not great secret that there has been more than one driver taking the white Stig role since then. Ben Collins could well be one of them.
I can't see it being a huge ratings problem. If Ben Collins is The Stig then the revelation of his identity may well have broken the confidentiality clause of his BBC contract and he will be replaced by another anonymous racing driver.
Indeed, HarperCollins and the BBC are having legal wrangles at the moment over the autobiography of the driver who is The Stig. The BBC are citing the confidentiality agreement in the contract and trying to prevent publication. It is quite likely that this is the reason that the financial records of Ben Collins and his company have come under scrutiny.
If the book gets published or not, the publicity surrounding Collins has meant that his BBC contract (assuming he is The Stig) means that his position would be untenable and once again the BBC would bring in a new Stig under the outfit.
That's the beauty of the character, I guess, as it doesn't matter who it is. What matters is not knowing, and once the veneer of mystery is cracked a new veneer can be applied without doing any great damage. The fact that Black Stig was replaced by White Stig without any hassle kind of proves that.
I think Top Gear has many years left yet, unless Jeremy Clarkson decides to retire in which case it is finished.
or maybe they go with an American Stig and put a lot of senseless chrome all over his uniform. color does not matter as long as there is enough chrome and bling. they can call him "pimp my stig"
Who gives a flying fig? He's the old stig. So they got a new one. Is the new one gonna reveal his identity? No? So who cares? Is the old stig gonna dish some dirt on Jeremy 'I hate Wales' Clarkson and his buddies? Again, who cares? Confidentiality claws [sic] - why? Did the Beeb know that Clarkson et al were a bunch of twats and could be depended upon to do some damage to its clean image? Is Top Gear finished? Don't be daft. I love it and will keep on watching it. Who would want to read a book by an unknown has-been driver's ghost writer anyway?
I for one vote for Sabine as well. She is really good at what she do. But I guess we will never know will we? There was a possible 12 drivers nominated as the Stig before Collins was revealed, including Schumi.... I suppose in another 2 to 3 years the new Stig will reveal him/herself as well.