JCB Fastrac breaks speed record

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JCB has broken its own tractor land speed record in the UK, after setting it for the first time in June this year

JCB Fastrac breaks speed record
Guy Martin with the record breaking Fastrac Two


A JCB Fastrac Tractor has hit a top speed of 217.57km/h, breaking its own world record for the fastest speed a tractor has ever travelled.

The record-breaking attempt was overseen by Guinness World Records, who confirmed that the JCB Fastrac completed two runs, in either direction through a speed trap set 1km apart, within the allotted time, to set the record.

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JCB says the Fastrac Two tractor had also hit a peak speed of 247.47km/h on its way to recording the average speed.

The record comes after another JCB tractor, the Fastrac One, hit a top speed of 166.7km/h in June this year.

A team of JCB engineers then set out to further streamline the tractor and reduce its weight by 10 per cent after the record was set in June – with JCB chief innovation and growth officer Tim Burnhope saying the team had pushed boundaries to make the improvements.

"The biggest challenges have included aerodynamics, reducing weight and improving performance – getting a five-tonne tractor to safely reach 150mph, and stop again, is not an easy task, but we’re all so proud to have not only reached these goals, but to have exceeded them," he says.


The JCB Fastrac speeds towards the World's Fastest Tractor title


The Fastrac Two operates on JCB’s 7.2-litre, six-cylinder Dieselmax engine – which achieved peak power at 1,016 horsepower (758kW) backed up by over 2,500Nm of torque.

Despite the tractor developing 1,016hp, it achieved over 5mpg and needed only a tiny 20-litre fuel tank to make its high-speed runs – with the company using a special formulation of high-performance racing diesel in the record attempt.

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 USA, using two JCB Dieselmax engines. It’s a record that still stands to this day.

Based on the commercially available JCB Fastrac, both tractors were driven by motorbike racer and truck mechanic Guy Martin at the Elvington Airfield in York.

Martin says he found it a privilege to be involved in the process, labelling himself "a very small cog in the machine".

"Just look at it, they get stuff done, it’s brilliant, and it is still a working tractor, so could have gone straight into the nearest field to put in a shift," he says.

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