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Video: Guy Martin smashes British tractor speed record in JCB Fastrac

Speed records are never straightforward when it comes to mad hatter racer Guy Martin, and this latest one is no exception. He’s only gone and set a new British speed record… in a tractor.

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Yes, you read that right. Guy Martin took a JCB tractor to its absolute limit at Elvington Airfield.

And what limit was that? A not particularly impressive-sounding 103.6 mph, at least in the world of fast cars. But in the real world, where commuters get stuck behind tractors doing what feels like walking pace in a 60 zone, that sounds really rather fast.

So what is this 100 mph tractor? The clue is perhaps in the name of the JCB Fastrac. Powered by a 7.2-litre diesel six-cylinder engine with 1,000 horsepower (!), it also has aerodynamics developed with the help of Williams Advanced Engineering.

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This skunkworks project has been in development at JCB with a team of engineers for the past few months. Its completion, and the subsequent record, was touted by JCB chairman Lord Bamford as an “amazing achievement”.

“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 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.”

“It had been a great day with the JCB at Elvington, proper job with some right proper engineers,” said Guy Martin of his record-breaking machine.

“She felt rock steady on the runway, job’s a peach.”

The record, as taken yesterday (20 June), comes 28 years to the day since JCB’s very first faster tractor, the great grandfather to the Fastrac, went into production.

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