American race car driver Jessi Combs has posthumously been awarded the fastest land speed record by a female by Guinness World Records.
Unfortunately, Combs passed away in an accident when she was attempting this feat in the Alvord Desert in southeast Oregon on 27th August 2019.
Her jet-powered car had clocked a speed of 522.783 mph, and she became the first woman to break this record in more than 40 years.
The previous record was held by American stuntwoman Kitty O’Neil, who reached 510.710 mph at the same spot way back in 1976.
A legend in the automotive industry, Combs was a TV presenter along with being a professional racing driver. She was also very passionate about increasing female representation the world of motor sport.
And, Combs was certainly not new to breaking records: she was the first woman to compete in The Race of Gentlemen event. She was also the first woman to place at any Ultra4 event. Further, she was widely considered the “fastest woman on four wheels” in 2013 when she set a race record of 398 mph at the North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger.
Her partner, Terry Madden expressed mixed feelings on Combs being recognized for her stupendous achievement. In an emotional post on Instagram, he said, “I really don’t know how I feel about this at all as no record could ever be worth her not being here, but it was a goal that she really wanted – and as hard as it is for me to even look at the car without crying. I’m so proud of her. She woke up that morning to an alarm saying “lets make history” and we had an absolutely amazing day.”
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#rememberthetime I was woke up Monday by a reporter from the London Times telling me that @guinnessworldrecords would be releasing today that @thejessicombs had officially broke her world landspeed record. I really don’t know how I feel about this at all as no record could ever be worth her not being here, but it was a goal that she really wanted – and as hard as it is for me to even look at the car without crying. I’m so proud of her. She woke up that morning to an alarm saying “lets make history” and we had an absolutely amazing day. On the morning run she broke her previous top speeds and we went back to the trailer and had a long heart to heart – she had a few things that were bothering us safety wise and I told her I would support her no matter what she decided to do. That afternoon we booked a house in Lake Tahoe for the next night, and she decided she was going to run that one last afternoon run to back up her record and then walk away from it for good and let her back up driver go for the overall world record instead of her. That was to be the last time she ever got in that car. It has torn me apart that all I had todo is say let’s go and we would have left before that run, she asked my opinion and I told her Togo for it if it was what she wanted. That conversation has torn me apart everyday since the accident. . On her final record run- the front wheel assembly failed and as she decelerated just past the end of the run, it came apart and went up into the electronics/mechanical bay behind her seat and caused the accident. There was nothing that she could do and she did everything perfect. I don’t know that this is anyone’s business and it has been hard for me to talk about, but I have been asked about several false narratives lately that she had done something wrong and I can’t live with anyone saying that anymore. I was in the safety vehicle beside her as she was slowing down when the accident happened, I watched the accident live as well as the onboard footage that was recovered. I can 100% tell you beyond any doubt that she did everything exactly as she was supposed to. . #missyababe #myjessi #landspeed #jessicombs #worldrecord #guinness
Apart from the records that she created as a racer, Combs was the creator of Real Deal, a programme to teach engineering skills to women, along with creating a line of welding equipment designed specifically for women.
We hope that Combs’ records will inspire millions of women in the world to take up motor sports as a profession!