FPT Industrial is now part of speed record history. Fabio Buzzi, multiple world-champion of Powerboat Racing and CEO of FB Design, has achieved the fastest speed on water using a diesel engine developed by FPT Industrial, and a hull engineered by FB Design. The record, certified by Guinness World Records, was achieved on Wednesday March 7th on Lake Como, Italy as the three-point hull reached the incredible speed of 277.5 Km/h.
FPT Industrial and FB Design worked together to develop a new engine: turning FPT Industrial’s Cursor 16 liter engine used in Agriculture applications, such as Combine Harvesters and Forage Harvesters, into a marine engine capable of developing more than 1,700 hp. This collaboration has resulted in new marine concepts, such as the aluminum extruded exhaust manifold on the last generation electronic Common Rail base engine, characterized by steel pistons. New innovative technologies for the turbocharging system have been tested to introduce multiple electronic variable geometry turbo solutions.
Furthermore, the racing engine’s cooling system features a single-direct circuit, with a water intake step-change solution inside the boat’s rudder.
FPT Industrial’s Research and Development Center in Arbon played an important part in this success: the engine was optimized and tested there, and modifications made to the fuel injection system drawing on expertise gained during other racing projects, such as the “Dakar” and the “Africa Eco Race” rallies. Arbon’s history is full of technological innovations and ground breaking firsts dating back to 1928 with the development of the first diesel truck engine and the patent for the direct injection diesel engines in 1934. In 1980, Arbon collaborated on the development of the Common Rail injection system, whilst five years later they designed the first small, high speed direct injection diesel engine with a turbocharger. At the end of the 90s, Arbon optimized the first application of a variable geometry turbocharger on a diesel engine, as well as the first Common Rail on a Light Commercial Vehicle, which was also adopted for agricultural applications some years later. Finally, in 2011, Arbon developed FPT Industrial’s patented HI-eSCR (High Efficiency Selective Catalytic Reduction).
FPT Industrial’s mission has always been to promote innovation in the field of racing in the pursuit of solutions and results that can be subsequently applied to mass production. The winning three-point hull was driven by Buzzi himself, who succeeded in breaking yet another record, beating his previous one set , which was also the last made in this category, in 1992. This was achieved through the efforts and passion of these two brands, which are celebrating over 35 years of successful partnership. During this period, FB Design and FPT Industrial have won 15 world titles together, achieved more than 100 victories in both Italian and International waters and broken several records, culminating now in this latest Guiness World Record. The brands’ mission continue to be to promote innovation in the world of powerboat racing and the three-point hull fully embodies this commitment.
The certification of the record
A speed record, both for land vehicles and for boats, is carried out on the basis of one kilometer or one nautical mile. It is mandatory to complete at least two passages in both directions – one ascending and one descending – within a maximum time of one hour. If multiple attempts have been made, the two best attempts can be chosen. The final speed is obtained by calculating the average of these attempts. The record is only certified if the previous one has been bettered. The previous Diesel Powerboat World Speed Record was set in 1992 by Fabio Buzzi achieving a speed of 252 km/h. The new record was certified by the Guinness World Records, the English institution which validates new records using sophisticated measuring systems which guarantee accuracy to the thousandth of a second. The measurements are made electronically and the physical presence of an Official Certifier, sent by the Guinness World Records, ensures that all the guidelines have been followed before the record is approved.
The diesel powerboat World Speed Record
The first diesel powerboat speed record was set in 1939 by Gert Leurssen, the famous German manufacturer who reached a speed of 68 km/h. Then, in 1967, the American Don Aronow was the first to break the 100 km/h barrier and ten years later, in 1977, Tullio Abbate reached 140 km/h, a record exceeded only two years later by Fabio Buzzi with 191 km/h. The first person to pass the 200 km/h mark was the Milanese financier Carlo Bonomi in 1982 in Venice. Bonomi reached 213 km/h, and in 1985 beat his own record setting a new speed of 218 km/h. Finally, in 1992, Fabio Buzzi regained the record setting a a new record speed of 252 km/h which stood until today.