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RSS Exclusive: List host Jessi Combs hits 440 mph, becomes World's Fastest Woman On Four Wheels [w/videos]


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Filed under: Motorsports, Coupe, Performance, Etc., Celebrities, Specialty, Racing, The List


jessi-combs-lsr-record-250.jpgA couple of weeks ago, Autoblog's video series, The List: 1,001 Car Things to do Before You Die, tackled something that's been top-of-mind since the day we came up with the concept for the series: Drive The Bonneville Salt Flats. If you saw that episode, you know that not only did hosts Jessi Combs and Patrick McIntyre check it off their List, Combs was there to work on getting qualified to make a run for the title of World's Fastest Woman.

Autoblog is extremely excited and proud to tell you that, pending FIA certification, Jessi Combs is now the World's Fastest Woman on Four Wheels, having recorded a two-way average speed of almost 393 miles per hour - a speed she reached not at Bonneville, but on a dry lakebed at the Alvord Desert in southeastern Oregon while her parents stood by and Autoblog's cameras rolled.

Jessi actually topped out at 440.709 mph in the North American Eagle (NAE) Supersonic Speed Challenger, a 14,000-pound, 50,000-horsepower F-104 Lockheed Starfighter jet converted for land speed record use. Effectively a four-wheeled wingless fighter jet, in a previous life, the land speed record (LSR) car served as a chase plane for the Air Force and NASA's X-15 experimental plane, along with the legendary SR-71 Blackbird.

Combs' 392.954-mph two-way average on Wednesday actually eclipsed her record-setting 344-mph session from the day before, a run that itself blew away the previous four-wheeled mark set by Lee Breedlove, wife of LSR legend Craig Breedlove. That mark has been standing since 1965. GPS data and telemetry is now being delivered to the FIA for certification purposes.

Yet Combs and the all-volunteer team of American and Canadian engineers and military personnel behind the North American Eagle aren't done yet - they plan on using the car to claim the overall land speed record of 761 mph in 2014, and Combs herself plans to return to attempt to best the overall Women's World Land Speed Record, a 512-mph average by Kitty O'Neil that was set in 1976 in her rocket-powered SM1 Motivator, a craft with only three wheels.

Naturally, we'll have a followup List episode documenting Jessi's run for you as soon as we can - in the meantime, check out a brief clip of her incredible record run below, along with the Bonneville Salt Flats episode if you happened to miss it. Congratulations, Jessi!


Continue reading List host Jessi Combs hits 440 mph, becomes World's Fastest Woman On Four Wheels [w/videos]

List host Jessi Combs hits 440 mph, becomes World's Fastest Woman On Four Wheels [w/videos] originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 12 Oct 2013 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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I would be happy to be a member of the 200 MPH club at Bonneville. This is a great accomplishment for Jessi. Beats wrenching with Ian.

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