Tractors are all about work. Getting more work done in less time. Which is kind of ironic for the slowest vehicles you’ve ever gotten stuck behind on country roads. Well, this tractor will really haul the hay, and with Isle of Man TT legend Guy Martin behind the wheel, it’s smashed a new record for Britain’s fastest tractor.
It’s called the JCB Fastrac, and it looks shockingly like a production tractor. Not that JCB doesn’t have experience with some that look nothing like any tractor ever built. Most notably the DieselMax streamliner that was a diesel-powered missile designed to be the world’s fastest diesel-engined vehicle.
The record-attempt Fastrac was aiming for the Track-Tor. A big-block-powered and completely impractical looking monstrosity of a tractor that Top Gear built for an episode of that show last year. It managed 140 km/h on the show in that record run.
The Fastrac, though, is based on the production Fastrac. So it looks like a tractor. And the base Fastrac 8330 is already the fastest production tractor in the world, JCB says. It’ll do 70 km/h full-out, though you probably won’t want to try that in a field, even with the air suspension seat.
Under the long hood of the Fastrac is a 7.2L six-cylinder DieselMax engine. In this application, it puts out 1,000 hp and 1,844 lb-ft of torque. Which might just be enough to scare the air into letting it fire through it at speeds that would get your license revoked in Canada.
For the record attempt, JCB put the tractor on a diet. After all, many of the field-ready bits that a real tractor needs aren’t much help here. The machine looks to have been lowered, punching a smaller hole through the air.
The aerodynamics have also been gone over by Williams Advanced Engineering. Like the Williams of Formula 1. Their changes include moving the mudguards in front of the tires instead of behind, smoothing the cab and fuel tanks, and making the nose something that should cut through the wind far more gracefully.
Driver Guy Martin, because who better to pilot something this absurd than a motorcycle racer, said that “she felt rock steady on the runway, job’s a peach.”
So what was the top speed of this monster? 166.7 km/h. Enough to smash the record.