The legendary driver and builder Fabio Buzzi touched 277,5 Km/h (almost 150 knots, or over 172 mph) on a “three point” boat powered by FPT. It’s the speed world record for diesels on water.
It is not for everyone to decide, at 75, to jump into an adventure like the one achieved at the beginning of March by Fabio Buzzi. The Italian pilot, powerboat world champion and CEO of FB Design which he founded in 1971, has designed and built a hull with the intention of breaking the speed record on water, with a diesel engine developed by FPT Industrial for the enterprise. The record was set on Tuesday 7 March on Lake Como, when the “three points” reached an incredible speed of 277.5 km/h. Let’s watch the video straight away:
Just one engine
Given the type of boat, the engine was single, so they went for a big unit: a model normally used in agriculture, construction and gen sets that has been transformed into a marine engine delivering over 1,7000 HP. FB Design and FPT have developed specific technologies, such as the aluminum extruded adiabatic exhaust manifold and the two variable-geometry turbines. Moreover, the cooling system of this competition unit has been realized in a single circuit with a new solution whose water intake is obtained inside the titanium rudder.
The boat was driven by the same Buzzi, who then achieved one more record, beating the previous speed record, which he established in 1992. The partnership with FPT Industrial led to 32 titles, including 15 World Championships in different categories and 17 international trophies. Among these, we remember the Montecarlo-Venice record along the whole Italian coastline in 2011, or the Marathon World Cup in 2010, the most prestigious endurance race.
As for the certification of the record, it must be carried out on a measured basis of one kilometer or one nautical mile. It is mandatory to complete at least two passages in the two senses, one ascending and one descending, within a maximum time of one hour. If multiple times have been performed, you can choose the best two. Among these is calculated the average from which the final speed is obtained.
Of course the record is recognized if the value of the pre-existing one has been exceeded. In the case of the Diesel Powerboat World Speed Record, the previous reference value is that set by Fabio Buzzi himself in 1992, with a speed of 252 km/h (136 knots). The new record was certified by the Guinness World Record, the Anglo-Saxon institution that uses measurement systems of the highest technological level, which guarantee precision to the thousandth of a second thanks to surveys and measurements carried out exclusively by electronic means. The presence of an official certifier sent by the Guinness World Record verifies that the regulations have been complied with, and then approves the record.
The history of the Diesel Powerboat World Speed Record began in 1939 with Gert Luerssen, the great German manufacturer who reached 68 km/h. In 1967 the American Don Aronow, legendary founder of yards such as Formula, Donzi, Magnum Marine and Cigarette, was the first to break the 100 km/h wall. Ten years later in 1977 another important boat builder, this time Italian, reached 140 km/h: Tullio Abbate. The record was cancelled two years later (1979) by Fabio Buzzi with 191 km/h, while the first to pass the 200 km/h was the Milanese Carlo Bonomi in 1982 in Venice, when he reached 213 km/h. Again Bonomi, in 1985, managed to beat himself bringing the record to 218 km/h. In 1992 Fabio Buzzi returned to the record with a speed of 252 km/h.