A little over a year ago, Top Gear’s The Stig set a new world record for the fastest tractor by doing 87.27 miles per hour at the Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, a former Royal Air Force (RAF) aerodrome located in Leicestershire. Some 15 months later, there’s a new record, significantly faster than the previous one. It comes from British industrial equipment manufacturer JBL and its Fastrac 8000 tractor.
Martin is a busy Guy:
First, about the record itself. The tractor achieved a speed of 103.6 mph on Yorkshire's Elvington Airfield with none other than motorcycle racer and TV presenter Guy Martin behind the wheel. The attempt was filmed and the documentary will be released by Channel4 later this year. "It had been 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," Martin explained.
And now about the machine. It is a large JCB tractor with 7.2-litre diesel generating about 1,000 bhp and 1,843 pound-feet of torque. It was tuned in secret but reports say the standard CVT transmission was replaced by a six-speed ZF gearbox. The aerodynamics was done by Williams Advanced Engineering, the very same team that is also behind Williams’ Formula 1 team.
"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," JCB chairman, Lord Bamford, commented. "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."