Trying going that fast on a tractor and see if you don’t lose your wits

Guy Martin has added another record to his long list of accolades. As if owning the world record for the fastest speed on a gravity-powered snow sled and the highest speed on a Wall of Death aren’t impressive enough, the British racer and all-around crazy man has added the world record for driving the world’s fastest modified tractor to his long list of accolades.

Martin’s latest triumph came alongside the JCB Fastrac Two, which hit a top speed of 153.7 mph, destroying the previous record of 103.6 mph that was also set by Martin a little over four months ago.

The record-breaking tractor comes by way of British engineering firm JCB. It’s called the Fastrac Two, though it is largely based on the commercially available high-speed Gastric agricultural tractor. It must be pointed out, though, that the Fastrac Two is a heavily modified version of the tractor. It comes with a more streamlined body — the front bumper, side panniers, rear diffuser, and underbody pan were all modified — that helped shed 10 percent off the tractor’s overall weight. Part of that weight loss could also be attributed to the tractor’s new aluminum hood.

More importantly, the Fastrac’s standard six-cylinder diesel engine was ditched in favor of a 7.2-liter diesel engine that produces a whopping 1,000 horsepower and 1,843 pound-feet of torque.

As a result of the sizable power increase, JCB also replaced the tractor’s standard CVT gearbox with a six-speed transmission to go with a smaller, lighter, and far more aerodynamic cabin.

Guy Martin Pilots The World's Fastest Tractor to a Record Top Speed of 153.7 MPH
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With all the modifications in place, it was on Guy Martin to take the Fastrac Two and attempt to break the world record that was set, not so coincidentally, by Martin himself and the Fastrac One back in June on the Elvington Airfield in the U.K. The former Royal Air Force (RAF) station boasts a three-kilometer (1.86 miles) runway and it was on this very same runway that Martin set the previous record with the Fastrac One, clocking in a top speed of 103.6 mph.

More than four months after setting that record, Martin and JCB returned to Elvington Airfield intending to break the four-month-old record. In short order, Martin not only succeeded in breaking his own record, but with all that power at his disposal, he flat-out obliterated his old record with an average top speed of 135.191 mph.

Not content with that speed, Martin had a second go with the Fastrac Two and went even faster, clocking in a top speed of 153.7 mph.
Guy Martin Pilots The World's Fastest Tractor to a Record Top Speed of 153.7 MPH
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Unlike some records these days that have become causes for controversy, the Fastrac Two’s record-breaking top speed — and the title of the fastest tractor (modified) in the world — is completely legitimate. A group of representatives from the Guinness Book of World Records was on-hand to personally vet the veracity and authenticity of Martin’s top speed times.

Even the showman didn’t mince his words talking about the experience of adding another world record to his growing list of records. "There are some good folk(s) there and they said about this idea of building the world’s fastest tractor,” Martin told the Guinness World Records. “So I said ’if you want it piloting give us a shout’ and that’s where it came about.”

Source: Guinness World Records

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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