LONDON – BBC motor show Top Gear has smashed a speed record for the world’s fastest tractor.
Steered by masked mascot The Stig, the programme scooped the Guinness World Record after reaching a top speed of 87.271 miles per hour (140 kph) with a modified farm vehicle.
The previous record holder set a mere top speed of 80.87mph (128kph) in 2015.
The attempt took place at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground – a former RAF aerodrome in Leicestershire, UK – where the 500-bhp tractor achieved 147.929 km/h (91.919 mph) on the first test run and 132.969 km/h (82.623 mph) on the return with an average taken of the two journeys to allow for potential advantages in either direction, according to the Guinness World Records.
@BBC_TopGear has broken a new @GWR Guinness World Records title for Fastest Tractor. Top Speed? Watch here ↓ pic.twitter.com/5LkKP1iyuI
— Top Gear (@BBC_TopGear) March 22, 2018
To hit this speed, the Top Gear team added a 5.7 litre Chevy V8 engine, 4-wheel brakes (typical tractors are only braked from the rear) and an adjustable air suspension system to the tractor.
Built by engineers from Top Gear, the bright orange ‘Track-tor’ also sports 54-inch tyres, a push start button, barometer and a wellington boot and spade rack.
Jack Brockbank, official Guinness World Records adjudicator commented: “To see The Stig hurtle past me in a tractor at 87mph was surreal, but hugely impressive. Equally as impressive is the engineering expertise of the Top Gear team that made this possible – the combination of their skills makes for brilliant record-breaking fun.”
Top Gear is one of the BBC’s most commercially successful programmes and is broadcast across Europe, America and South East Asia.
Sunday’s episode will also see the hosts take the track-tor on the freeway for shenanigans, compete in a hedge-trimming contest, and complete something called the “frozen vegetable challenge.”