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New British tractor speed record set by JCB Fastrac

A new British speed record for the fastest tractor has been set by UK manufacturer JCB using a modified high-speed JCB Fastrac

The tractor was able to manage a top speed of 103.6mph at Elvington Airfield, near York in England, with motorcycle ace and engineering mad Guy Martin behind the wheel. 

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During this attempt, the JCB Fastrac smashed the previous record of 87.27mph set in March 2018 by Top Gear’s Track-Tor. Guy Martin, who also works as a TV presenter, says, “It has 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.”

“A team of JCB engineers have been working on the secret project to develop the tractor over the past few months, which has been praised by JCB chairman Lord Bamford who said it was an “amazing achievement.”

He adds, “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’s 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.”

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The modified tractor managed a top speed of 103.6mph with motorcycle ace and engineering mad Guy Martin behind the wheel

It was Lord Bamford’s idea to first develop a tractor that had a high road speed capable of field work and the speed record achieved came exactly 28 years to the day since the first Fastrac 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 350.092mph on Bonneville Salt Flats in the US, using two JCB DieselMax engines. It’s a record that stands to this day.

Based on the Staffordshire maker’s Fastrac farm tractor, the record-breaking tractor is powered by JCB’s 7.2-litre, six-cylinder DieselMax engine produced at its factory in Derbyshire.

Capable of delivering 1000hp and 2500Nm of torque, the Fastrac had been put on a diet and had its aerodynamics enhanced with the help of Williams Advanced Engineering to give it a greater need for speed.

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Photography: Chris McCullough

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