Nearly one year after her fatal crash, Jessi Combs has earned the Guinness World Record title of the world’s fastest female. The women’s Land Speed Record at 522.783 mph was set on August 27, 2019, just before her third and final run on that day at Alvord Desert, Oregon.
The pioneering 39-year-old fabricator, racer, and host followed in the footsteps of Kitty O’Neil’s blast across the same dry lake bed in 1976, which set the previous record of 512.710 mph.
The posthumous award brings closure on the efforts of that day, cementing Combs’ legacy in land speed racing. After two runs earlier in the day, which produced the Guinness World Record, a mechanical failure in the front wheel of her jet-powered North American Eagle Super Sonic Speed Challenger caused the streamliner to lose control at nearly 550 mph.
An award well-deserved, and a driver forever remembered.
Update: We reached out to Guinness World Records about the change between the reported record speed last fall at 531.889, and they stated: “This achievement is a tribute to her dedication to the sport and as well as Jessi being the first to achieve the record-title in 40 years. After extensive evidence review provided by Jessi Combs’ team, we were able to verify a land spend of 522.783 mph.”