23 August 2006 - Today the record-breaking JCB DIESELMAX achieved a stunning 350mph (563kph)* to break its own land speed record for diesel-powered cars set yesterday by Andy Green.
On Tuesday, JCB DIESELMAX became the world's fastest diesel when Green drove it to an FIA-sanctioned speed of 328.767mph (526.027kph). Today he improved on that significantly wîth a new record of 350.092mph (563.418kph) after two passes in opposite directions, within one hour.
Running soon after daybreak he recorded 365.779mph (588.664kph) on his first run and 335.695mph (540.248kph) on his return, giving the average of 350.092mph (563.418kph).
As he was feted by his jubilant crew, Green said: 'I am so pleased that we have got the car to 350mph which was always our ultimate goal and that was wîth a slow start to the second run. There is so much more to come as the car is pulling like a train and we still haven't used sixth gear!
'Today's record proves the potential we have always believed JCB DIESELMAX to possess. This is another great result for a wonderful team and a testament to British engineering.'
'350mph is a fantastic speed for a diesel-powered car. To have built the world's fastest diesel in such a short timescale is a wonderful achievement for the JCB DIESELMAX team,' said Dr Tim Leverton, Project Director. 'What is even more impressive is to set three records – 317.021mph, 328.767mph (526.027 kph) and 350.092mph (563.418kph) in only six days.
'Once again we have demonstrated the engineering and team effort that has gone into creating this extraordinary car.'
JCB DIESELMAX was JCB Chairman Sir Anthony Bamford's brainchild, born of his desire to showcase the extreme performance of the JCB444 diesel engine which normally powers the company's backhoe loaders and Loadall telescopic handlers.
After watching today's runs he said: 'Yesterday's triumph was thrilling, and better than I had expected. Today's surpasses even that. We have proved that we can do it, and we have the world's fastest diesel car and engine. The JCB DIESELMAX team has worked at times in adversity and faced numerous heartaches wîth fortitude. These record-breaking successes prove to the world the excellence of British engineering and teamwork.'
JCB, one of the world's leading construction equipment companies, will make a land speed record attempt this summer in a bid to earn its purpose-designed streamliner car the title of 'World's fastest diesel'. To reach speeds of over 300 mph, JCB has developed the world's most powerful automotive diesel engine at 150 bhp per litre.
The attempt at a new land speed record for diesel cars will underscore the strength, performance and versatility of the JCB444 diesel engine. The JCB DIESELMAX car is twice as powerful and twice as fast as a Formula 1 car, yet weighs four times as much.
The aim is to create the world's fastest diesel-powered automobile and set a new record in excess of 300 mph. The current FIA mark stands at 235.756 mph to Virgil W Snyder and the Thermo King Streamliner, a record that dates back to 25 August 1973.
The JCB DIESELMAX streamliner will be driven by Wing Commander Andy Green, who set the first-ever supersonic world land speed record at 763.035 mph in ThrustSSC on the Black Rock Desert on 15 October 1997.
The innovative car has been designed by a team led by JCB Group Engineering Director Dr Tim Leverton. Richard Noble, the former land speed record-holder, has acted as a consultant to the project, and JCB has worked wîth long-term technology partner Ricardo plc to develop the JCB444-LSR engine.
Codenamed project H1, JCB DIESELMAX is nine metres long, weighs 2700 kg and is powered by two 750 bhp two-stage turbocharged JCB444 diesel engines driving through separate six-speed transmissions.
The record attempt will take place on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Útah in August, following preliminary trials at RAF Wittering, near Peterborough.
Sir Anthony Bamford, Chairman of privately owned JCB, is very clear why he wanted to build a JCB record-breaker: 'I am passionate about the importance of engineering excellence to Britain and I see using the JCB engine for this record attempt as a fantastic way of showcasing what British engineers can do.'
Dr Leverton said: 'We began this project wîth one basic aim. Everything always comes back to that same starting point; we are doing this to prove our engine. To power the world's fastest diesel car wîth two JCB engines designed for our construction machines will be a huge achievement.'
Andy Green said: 'We will be following in the tradition of Sir Malcolm Campbell, George Eyston and John Cobb, three of the greats of record-breaking. And we will be running at the sport's spiritual home, the remarkable Bonneville Salt Flats.
'I am really lòòking forward to driving another British entry in the ‘300 mph Club', and a diesel-engined, wheel-driven one at that.'