Betty Haig

Elizabeth "Betty" Haig was born in 1906, the great-niece of Field Marshal Haig. She owned her first car at the age of sixteen and went through a series, including a Salmson and a Singer Le Mans. At twenty nine, she entered her first event: the Paris-St. Raphaël Rally in 1935. She drove a Singer, partly factory backed, competed at Brooklands and won the 1936 Olympic Rally which was centred on Berlin, tying in with that year’s Olympics. In 1938, she drove in the Paris-St Raphael again, for the last time before the war, in the MG, finishing second, reportedly after being held up on a stage by another competitor.

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, 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. In 1951, she was back in the Paris-St Raphael rally, finishing third, with a class win, in an MG TD. At some point, she is also described as having rallied a Healey 100 in this event.

For 1951, she also drove a Cooper for part of the year including:

Brands Hatch 21st April 1951 Open Challenge Race, DNS

Gosport 29th April 1951, 3rd

Prescott 19th May 1951, 7th

Betty partnered Yvonne Simon to fifteenth place in the 1951 Le Mans race, in Yvonne'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 1967 and was a major force for the establishment of the Historic Sports Car Club.

Betty Haig died in 1987.

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