Johan Jacobs, holder of
the South African outright Land Speed Record, and S.A. Standing Kilo
record, suffered a fatal accident on Verneuk pan in the Northern Cape
Province of South Africa, on Tuesday, 27th June. The 39 year
old ex fighter pilot was to attempt to set a new World Standing Start
Mile record the following day in his jet powered Castrol Edge
Jacobs was killed
instantly when, during his first practice run on the pan, his car veered
off the course, at an estimated 500kph,and rolled several times.
Well known in South
African drag racing circles, Johan acquired his car from America about
two years ago. Initially the car was known simply as Showdown,
until he attracted the sponsorship of the oil company incorporated in
it's later name.
After several head to
head tussles with Mick van Rensburg in another jet powered dragster on
strips in the Transvaal, Johan set his sights on the record scene,
raising Grant van Schalkwyk's South African record of 383.538 kph to
504.544kph for the flying kilo, at Mafikeng airfield in the latter part
of last year.
He also set the South
African kilometre sprint record at 9.88 secs, although later in
preparation for his World Record attempt, he had recorded an unofficial
Standing Kilo of 9.4 seconds, which is inside the current World Record
time. Telemetry in the vehicle on that occasion indicated peak
acceleration being at fractionally under 9.5G.
Johan had been working in
conjunction with Ray Wakefield of Speedrecord S A on plans for a further
series of record attempts, which might have taken him to Europe.
An initial inspection of
the vehicle after the crash revealed no mechanical malfunction that
could have caused the accident.
To Rhoda his wife, his
two young children, and his Mother, we extend our deepest sympathy.