JCB has set a new speed record for tractors with its Fastrac farm tractor-based model hitting 166.72kmh at Elvington Airfield, near York, England.
With TV presenter and engineering guru Guy Martin behind the wheel, the JCB tractor smashed the previous 140.44kmh record set in March 2018 by Top Gear’s Track-Tor.
“It (was) a great day with the JCB at Elvington; proper job with some right proper engineers. She felt rock steady on the runway. Job’s a peach,” said Martin, who’s also a former motorcycle racing champion.
According to JCB, a team of engineers worked on the secret project to develop the tractor over the past few months. Praising their “amazing achievement”, JCB chairman Lord Bamford said: “We’ve long harboured a dream to attempt a speed record with the Fastrac and the whole team has worked tirelessly to achieve this amazing result. I’m extremely proud of what they have achieved in such a short space of time. It is British engineering at its best and it really does highlight the skills and innovation we have in our engineering team. They have done a truly fantastic job.”
Based on the Staffordshire maker’s Fastrac farm tractor, the record-breaking tractor is powered by JCB’s 7.2 litre, 6-cylinder DieselMax engine produced at its factory in Derbyshire. Capable of delivering 1,000hp and 2,500Nm of torque, the Fastrac had been put on a diet and had its aerodynamics enhanced with the help of Williams Advanced Engineering.
A statement from JCB said that it was Lord Bamford’s idea to develop a tractor which had a high road speed capable of field work, and the speed record achieved yesterday came exactly 28 years to the day since the first production model rolled off the line.
JCB is no stranger to land speed records. In 2006, its DieselMax streamliner set a new diesel land speed record when it reached 563.41kmh on the Bonneville Salt Flats in the USA, using two JCB DieselMax engines. It’s a record that stands to this day.