August 25, 2006 Last Friday (August 18) , the JCB DIESELMAX broke the Bonneville record speed for diesel engines, setting a time of 317 mph. On Tuesday (August 22), the vehicle broke the FIA international land speed record for a diesel vehicle with 328.767 mph (529.099 kph) and beat the existing record by more than 100 mph. Returning to the Bonneville Salt Flats with its FIA sealed engines on Wednesday, things went even better. Running soon after daybreak driver Andy Green recorded 365.779mph (588.664kph) on his first run and 335.695mph (540.248kph) on his return, giving an average of 350.092mph (563.418kph). It was the third speed record achieved by the JCB DIESELMAX in only six days, and demonstrates the power and reliability of its Ricardo-developed engines. There’s a fascinating rundown on the technical development of the engines in PDF format available here.
Speaking at the Bonneville Salt Flats as the new FIA record was announced, Ricardo director of diesel engineering, Ian Penny, said: “Today’s record is a stunning achievement for the JCB DIESELMAX team which includes many Ricardo engineers led by chief engineer, Matt Beasley. We are particularly proud of the faultless operation of the Ricardo-developed JCB444-LSR engines and their performance at full power with no smoke. This is a great achievement for JCB, Ricardo and the JCB DIESELMAX team which has demonstrated the very best of British engineering.”