While women in racing still fight an uphill battle against antiquated attitudes today, there was a time when you were just as likely to find a unicorn roaming the paddock as you were to see a woman racing a car.
Today’s share from British Pathé begins at the famed Brooklands Circuit in 1935, where Gwenda Stewart and Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame inductee, Kay Petre were doing battle for top speed records. Born in Toronto, Petre drove her 12 cylinder Delage to 134.24 miles per hour. An impressive number, considering the feeble brakes and skinny tires must have made for a scary ride.
Stewart, who was perhaps best known for her work as an ambulance driver during the first war, was driving a Derby that fell just short of Petre’s top speed, at 133.67 mph.
From there the film goes on to stock car racing and hillclimbs. Naturally, the commentary is suitably inappropriate by today’s standards.
Source: British Pathé via YouTube