The Annual Great Race Road Rally Set To Kick Off With Jessi Combs

America’s favorite thrill chaser, Jessi Combs, is set to kick off The Great Race this Saturday. Photo from Jessi Combs Website

America’s most favorite contemporary-retro race, The Great Race, is set to get underway this Saturday, June 18, in San Rafael, California. Acting as the Honorary Grand Marshall and leading the way of the 2016 event will be land speed record holder, TV host, and the automotive aftermarket industry’s “It” girl, Jessi Combs.

Already owning the reputation as an adventure seeker, Combs will be participating in the event for the entire time-speed-distance rally behind the wheel of a 1935 Grand Prix Bugatti. Combs will be traversing the rally route alongside Great Race participants for an upcoming episode of Autoblog’s “The List: 1001 Car Things to do Before You Die.” With the race making the list of 1001 things to accomplish before expiring, it can be considered a bucket list item!

Combs has participated in some of the most exciting automotive events beyond setting the land speed record as the fastest woman on 4-wheels in 2013 at 398 mph (top speed 440 mph). She has also notched second place finishes in the Baja 1000 twice (2011, 2015), winning the King of the Hammers twice (2014, 2016), and winning the Ultra 4 National Championship in 2014, along with several other podium finishes in various events.

Jessi Combs and co-host Patrick McIntyre will share driving duties.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled that Jessi will not only be serving as Grand Marshall of the Great Race, but also participating,” said Wade Kawasaki, COO and President of Coker Tire. “Jessi is a beloved figure in the automotive industry with an adventurous and competitive spirit and we thought she would be a perfect fit as an ambassador of the Great Race this year.”

The 1935 Gran Prix Bugatti . Bugatti photos courtesy of Pur Sang and headshots courtesy of Jessi Combs and Patrick McIntyre.

Combs will be sharing driving duties in the 1935 Grand Prix Bugatti with Patrick McIntyre, her co-host on “The List: 1001 Car Things to do Before You Die,” and car owner John Bothwell.

The Great Race time-speed-endurance rally is a demanding event that challenges even the most skilled driver. This year 120 teams are participating, with some people traveling from as far as Japan and Spain to participate. One driver and one navigator will pilot a car manufactured in 1972 or earlier and are allowed only the bare essentials – pens, pencils, race tables, instructions, Great Race-sanctioned maps, a stopwatch and a standard radio with AM/FM only. The most important rule on this journey is no electronics – that means no cell phones, GPS, laptops, tablets, etc.

Every year the Great Race follows a different route to keep the event fresh and exciting. This year, the Great Race is following a scenic route mapped out along the famous Lincoln Highway. The rally begins in sunny San Rafael, California with noteworthy stops in Old Sacramento, California; Reno, Nevada; the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, Sioux Falls, South Dakota and the finish line will be in Moline, Illinois. This route was chosen for its historical significance as the Lincoln Highway is one of the earliest transcontinental highways in the U.S.

For more information on the Great Race, please visit www.GreatRace.com

About the author

Bobby Kimbrough

Bobby grew up in the heart of Illinois, becoming an avid dirt track race fan which has developed into a life long passion. Taking a break from the Midwest dirt tracks to fight evil doers in the world, he completed a full 21 year career in the Marine Corps.
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