If you have a field to plough and want to get it finished in record time, you might want to call on the services of speed freak Guy Martin.
That’s because the former motorcycle racer and truck mechanic has stormed into the record books with a new highest speed for a tractor, hitting a monumental speed of 135mph.
The feat, documented in a Channel 4 TV programme aired this evening, shows the Yorkshireman at the wheel of a heavily tuned JCB vehicle smashing his own previous record by almost 32mph.
Tractor record: Guy Martin has set a new world record speed of 135.191mph in an enormous JCB agricultural vehicle
The JCB Fastrac Two – designed and built by a team of young engineers at the British agricultural manufacturer’s headquarters in Staffordshire – secured the title at Elvington Airfield, in York, with the TV personality at the controls.
The feat has officially been ratified by Guinness World Records.
The achievement comes after JCB set its first Guinness World Record for the fastest tractor at Elvington in June 2019.
Called Fastrac One, it reached a speed of 103.6mph, also with Martin piloting the tractor.
The second rendition, which is 10 per cent lighter and made to be even more streamlined – hit an astonishing peak speed of 153.771mph in one direction.
However, in order for a Guinness World Record to stand, it needs to be recorded across an average of two runs at the same location going in opposite directions.
The JCB Fastrac’s pair of sprints were calculated at an average of 135.191mph.
The speed demon now has five world record speed runs to his name, from tractors to motorcycles, sleds to soapboxes and even a British record in a hovercraft
JCB and Guy Martin already held the speed record for a tractor set in June. This revised model is 10% lighter and made to be even more streamlined
The JCB even features a parachute that deploys from the back to slow it down after the speed runs, similar to those used by high-octane top fuel drag racers that can hit speeds of up to 335mph over a quarter mile
Speaking about the new record, Guy Martin said: ‘This has been a massive undertaking, and I was a very small cog in the machine.
‘It was a proper privilege to be involved, so thank you very much to JCB and its engineering team, who got this tractor absolutely spot-on.
‘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.’
The incredible feat has been documented in a Channel 4 TV programme aired on this evening (Sunday 17 November)
The JCB Fastrac Two – designed and built by a team of young engineers at the British agricultural manufacturer’s headquarters in Staffordshire – secured the title at Elvington Airfield in York
If you have a field to plough and not much time, you might want to call on the services of Guy Martin and JCB
Guy Martin is best known for being a phenomenal motorcycle road racer who has competed at the Northwest 200 and Isle of Man TT. His appearance – and fireball crash – at the latter in 2010 was made into a successful film doc called TT3D: Closer to the Edge in 2011
This is now Martin’s fifth speed record he’s set (not including the previous tractor record he’s just beaten).
Guinness World Record stipulation cost Bugatti a record earlier this year
Bugatti’s claimed record speed of 304.77mph set earlier this year has not been recognised by Guinness World Records
Guinness World Record’s stipulation about speed records is very strict.
The awarding body states that a land speed figure is only eligible if it has been set over two runs on the same course in opposite directions within an hour of each other.
An average of the highest speeds hit in both directions is then taken as the final figure.
This rule prevented Bugatti’s Chiron Supersport 300+ being recognised as the fastest road car in August.
It clocked a speed of 304.77mph at a test track in Germany but only travelling in one direction.
The speed run was verified by the TÜV, Germany’s Technical Inspection Association, but the legitimacy of the achievement was still overlooked by Guinness.
The car maker claimed it would be unsafe to repeat the run driving the other way due to the grain of the tarmac which could puncture the tyres when travelling at such jaw-dropping speeds.
As a result, Guinness World Records still states that the record speed achieved by a road car is 277.87mph, set in a Koenigsegg Agera RS in 2017.
The speed run was verified by the TÜV, Germany’s Technical Inspection Association but still overlooked by Guinness
Guinness World Records recognises him as the fastest man to travel on a gravity-powered snow sled (83.49mph set in 2014), soapbox (85.61 mph also set in 2014) and to ride the petrifying Wall of Death cage (78.15mph in 2016).
He also has the British record of 75.21mph achieved in a hovercraft.
This latest accomplishment is the result of a team of JCB engineers that have been working to improve the previous vehicle as part of a project over the last few months.
This included a new, more aerodynamic, spoiler and lightened cab.
It even features a parachute that deploys from the back to slow it down after the speed runs, similar to those used by high-octane top fuel drag racers that can hit speeds of up to 335mph over a quarter mile.
Company chairman Lord Bamford praised their amazing achievement, stating: ‘When we reached 103.6mph with the Fastrac in the summer, I was convinced we could go even faster, and the JCB team has risen to the challenge by setting this new record.
‘It’s an amazing achievement delivered by a young and enthusiastic engineering team. Everyone involved should be very proud of the part they have played in showing off British engineering at its very best.’
Both record-breaking tractors are based on a standard, commercially available JCB Fastrac which are produced in the UK and sold around the world.
Tim Burnhope, JCB chief innovation and growth officer, added: ‘Fastrac One really proved to us that there are no limits to what a young and dynamic engineering team can achieve.
‘So we pushed boundaries and ideas, and looked at all aspects of the project to find solutions and make 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.’
As well as Martin, JCB is also 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.
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