Betty Haig

Betty Haig

Elizabeth "Betty" Haig was born in 1905, the great-niece of Field Marshal Haig. She owned her first car at the age of nineteen and went through a series, including a Salmson and a Singer Le Mans. At twenty nine, she entered her first event: Junior Racing Drivers Club Speed Hill Climb Chalfont St Peter in 1934. She drove a Singer, partly factory backed, competed at Brooklands and won a gold medal in the 1936 Olympic Rally which was centred on Berlin, tying in with that year’s Olympics. In 1938, she won the Paris-St Raphael Rally.

Post-war, Betty took up motorsport once more, taking on major, mixed entry rallies, as well as trials and hillclimbs. In 1946, she won the 2000cc class on the Rallye des Alpes as well as winning the Coupe des Dames and the French Automobile Club's trophy at Chamonix for the best performance by a lady driver in an AC. In '49, she drove a Morris Minor in the Monte Carlo Rally, co-driving with Elsie Wisdom and Barbara Marshall. The same year, she entered the Rallye des Alpes again, winning the 1500cc class and the Coupe des Dames with Barbara Marshall, in an MG TC. In 1950, she joined forces with Barbara once more for the Monte Carlo Rally, driving an MG YA. In 1951, she was back in the Paris-St Raphael rally, finishing third, with a class win, in an MG TD.

In 1950, she drove a Cooper 1000 at the following events:

20th May, Prescott
10th June, Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb
2nd July, Sierre Montana Crans Hill Climb
16th July, Prescott
23rd July, Great Auclum
29th July, Blandford Hill
2nd Sept, Brighton Speed Trials
10th Sept, Prescott
23rd Sept, Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb
For 1951, she also drove a Cooper for part of the year including:

Goodwood 7th April 1951, Cooper 500

Brands Hatch 21st April 1951 Open Challenge Race, DNS, Cooper 500

Gosport 29th April 1951, 3rd, Cooper 500

Prescott 19th May 1951, 7th, Cooper 500

Betty partnered Yvonne Simon to fifteenth place in the 1951 Le Mans race, in Louis Chinetti's Ferrari 166 MM. They were third in the 2000cc class, having challenged for the lead throughout.

Despite her talent, she rarely competed in major meetings, although she was a regular on the club scene and enjoyed a considerable hillclimb career, holding the Ladies’ record at Prescott for six years. Among the cars she owned and drove were an HRG, a pre-war Frazer Nash and models by MG and AC. In 1953, she raced an MG Magnette at Goodwood, coming third in a handicap race. In '55 she drove in a Goodwood Ladies’ Whitsun race in an AC Ace, and raced a Climax-engine Elva the following year. She continued to race and rally numerous cars until 1966 and was a co-founder of the Historic Sports Car Club.

Betty Haig died in 1987.