Nowadays there seems to be a record for just about anything that you can think of. BMW has the longest drift, Caterham has the most donuts (in 60 seconds), and Koenigsegg claimed five different speed records a few months ago. There’s also an ongoing obsession with Nürburgring lap times spreading like a disease among automakers of all calibers. Top Gear is joining in the fun, but it’s doing things a bit differently as the weapon of choice is not a car.
The popular TV show put none other than the famous The Stig behind the wheel of a tractor at the well-known Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, a former Royal Air Force (RAF) aerodrome located in Leicestershire, U.K. Of course, it wasn’t an ordinary tractor as the orange farm vehicle was modified to claim a new Guinness World Record for the fastest tractor in the world. Speed to beat? That would have to be 80.87 mph (130.14 kph), established back in February 2015 in Vuojarvi, Finland.
With 500 horsepower coming from a Chevy-sourced 5.7-liter V8 engine, The Stig was able to reach an impressive top speed of 87.27 mph (140.44 kph) to claim a new world record. It’s worth mentioning this number represents the average calculated after the mandatory two runs in opposite directions. The tractor actually managed to hit 91.91 mph (147.92 kph) during the first run, but it only did 82.62 mph (132.96 kph) on the return.
Beyond the Chevy engine transplant, the modified tractor was also fitted with four-wheel brakes and even an adjustable air suspension. Other modifications included 54-inch rear tires, a twin hydraulic handbrake, a trunk rack, push button start, and “a can of Lamborghini orange paint.”
Top Gear presenter and the proud owner of four tractors, Matt LeBlanc, said:
“When you get stuck behind one [tractor], you can’t go anywhere. So we’re trying to speed up farming. When Lewis Hamilton retires, this is what he’ll be driving!"