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.”
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!0