Ever wondered how fast a tractor can go? No? Neither have we but the folks from Williams Advanced Engineering wanted to find out and with the help of the very popular Isle of Man TT racer / TV presenter, Guy Martin, they actually found out earlier this week.
The JCB Fastrac World Record project aimed in building the ‘World’s Fastest Tractor’ and who better to help than the guys who basically work with some of the fastest machines in motorsports history. With vast experience in Formula 1, Williams Advanced Engineering greatly assisted in the project, specifically on enhancing the tractor’s aerodynamics.
The brief was simple, but the execution was a challenge as they had to maximise the aerodynamic performance of the JCB Fastrac tractor, without compromising the integral shape of the vehicle. What they achieved was adding an ‘aero’ bumper, flat underfloor, reduced front overhang, and modified rear fairings.
Over 65 CFD simulations were carried and they’ve managed to reduce the tractor’s overall drag by 25%. The next job was for Guy Martin to take it out and blast it down the straights a few times. He managed to clock a maximum speed of 247.5km/h and an average speed of 217.6km/h.
The high-speed runs successfully secured the Guinness record for the World’s Fastest Tractor where it was featured on a UK’s documentary earlier this week called “The World’s Fastest Tractor”.
— GuinnessWorldRecords (@GWR) 20 November 2019
According to Ian Turner, Head of Aerodynamics at Williams Advanced Engineering, “This has been a challenging and fascinating project, one that really showcases the effect that aerodynamic optimisation can have on speed and the versatility of CFD applications. In this instance, we’ve been able to bring learnings from race car design to an agricultural vehicle and in doing so, have been able to realise significant aerodynamic improvements. We are proud to have played an integral role in the project and would like to offer our huge congratulations to the team at JCB and partner companies for breaking the world speed record for a tractor.”