Kay Petre

Kay Petre
Other names
Born Kathleen Coad Defries
Birth and death
1903 - 1994
Profession details
Racing Driver
Related place
Alistair Grant

Kay Petre [born Kathleen Coad Defries] (1903-1994) racing driver. Although relatively unknown now, Kay was a media sensation of the 1930s as a woman driver at Brooklands. In 1934-35 she was involved in a legendary battle for the Ladies' Outer Circuit record with Gwenda Stewart [Hawkes] - see below. She was born in Canada and moved to England in 1930, following her marriage to Englishman Henry Petre. Her husband was a keen flier at Brooklands Airfield, which was how Kay became interested in motor racing. Kay was only 4'10" tall and in order to reach the pedals of the racing car she drove (the 1924 10.5 litre V12-engined Delage in which John Cobb had broken the Land Speed Record) she had large wooden blocks attached to them.

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