JCB has set a new British speed record for tractors with a customised version of its high-speed Fastrac 8000. 

The tractor, running on BKT IT696 industrial tyres all round, notched up 103.60mph at Elvington Airfield, near York, on June 20, 2019, with TV presenter and engineering guru Guy Martin behind the wheel. It smashed the previous 87.3mph record set in March 2018.

“It was a great day with the JCB at Elvington,” Mr Martin said. “Proper job with some right proper engineers. She felt rock steady on the runway, job’s a peach."

Based on the Staffordshire-based manufacturer’s Fastrac 8000, the record-breaking tractor was powered by a JCB’s 7.2-litre, six-cylinder DieselMax engine, produced at its factory in Derbyshire, capable of delivering 1,000hp and 2,500Nm of torque. The Fastrac had also been put on a diet, and had its aerodynamics enhanced with help from Williams Advanced Engineering

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