Lorry mechanic, bike racer and TV presenter Guy Martin has set a new UK tractor speed record of 103.6mph, smashing the previous marker.

Martin was at the wheel of a heavily modified JCB Fastrac for the record-breaking run at Elvington Airfield in Yorkshire. He snatches the title from The Stig, who reached 87.27mph in March 2018 at Bruntingthorpe Airfield for an episode of Top Gear.

This new record also forms the basis of a TV show, presented by Martin and due to air on Channel 4 later this year.

As you can see from the images here, the tractor used is quite a long way from standard. Though the JCB Fastrac 8000 is actually a very good starting point, being one of the fastest tractors in the world with a maximum road speed of 43mph.

The record breaker uses a heavily tuned version of the Fastrac’s 7.2-litre, six-cylinder DieselMax engine, producing 1,000hp and 1,844lb/ft of torque. It also went on a crash diet and the aerodynamics were honed by the Williams F1 team’s Advanced Technologies division.

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

JCB Chairman, Lord Bamford, added: “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.”

The Fastrac has been on the market in one form another since 1991.

JCB is no stranger to setting records. In 2006 it set a land speed record for a diesel-powered ‘car’ that stills stands, the twin-engined DieselMax Streamliner reaching 350.092mph. 

Here’s Top Gear’s film on it’s now ex-record-holding Track-Tor.

By Graham King