Jessi Combs: Officially the Fastest Woman on Earth

Jessi Combs received official recognition as the Fastest Woman on Earth. Pioneer file photo

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(Editor’s Note: This story appeared on the Road & Track website and is being reprinted here with permission.)

Jessi Combs is now officially the world’s fastest woman, breaking the record during her fatal attempt back in August. During her two runs, the Guinness Book of World Records certified that Combs achieved an average speed of 522.783 mph before the crash. Her top speed was 548.432 mph, but the official record is a two-way average.

The previous record was 512.710 mph, set by Kitty O’Neil in a three-wheeled, jet-powered car. Combs’ four-wheeled North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger had already made her the fastest woman on four wheels, achieving 398 mph in 2013. O’Neil’s record, Combs’ 2013 run, and her fatal 2019 run all happened in the Alvord Desert in Oregon

According to Harney County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon, her deadly crash was “most likely caused from striking an object on the desert.” The car was moving faster than 500 mph at the time, too quick to recover from any collision. She died of blunt force trauma.

She had joined the North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger team to attempt to break the female land-speed record set by O’Neil. And though the title is posthumous, Combs today achieved her goal of becoming the fastest woman on Earth.

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