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County Kildare History and Heritage

Gordon Bennett Motor Race 1903

Intro and Menu | July Articles

Leinster Leader, Saturday 4 July 1903, Last Edition – Page 5

Mr. Jenatzy, the winner of the race, in the course of an interview expressed himself well pleased with the course and with the arrangements which had been made in the various controls. The course, he said, he looked upon as a very pretty one, but a very difficult one to negotiate. He was considerably pleased with the manner in which the Mercedes car had behaved, and he was not surprised that it was the winning car. The course, he said, offered a severe test to any machine, both in the matter of endurance and in the quality of the car. Next year he would again compete for the Cup if there were any challenges for it, but he did not think that a competition of this kind would be held in Germany, inasmuch as the Kaiser was not in favour of them.

Members of the Royal Irish Constabulary were engaged all the day in keeping the course clear. At times this was no easy matter, as spectators would occasionally encroach on the racing track, despite the many warnings they had received of the danger thus incurred. It is only fair to state that the Constabulary men performed their duties most efficiently, and to their tact, good temper, and watchful efforts may be attributed no small share of the success, which attended the proceedings.

The accident to Jarrott occurred on the Stradbally side of Dunamese[sic] Hill, which is very steep, the gradient being one in thirteen. The steering gear went wrong, and the car wheeled to the left and ran fully twenty yards along the ditch before it capsized into the middle of the road. Jarrott was pitched out, but the mechanician, Bianci, was held by a strap round one hand, and he got caught under the car. Nothing could exceed the promptitude with which the road was cleared under the direction of Sergeant Hally, of Gorey, who was in charge of the section. He first gave the danger signal to stop the race, but in four and a half minutes the car and injured men were removed from the road, and the signal was cancelled. Surgeon Blayney, of the Meath Hospital, Dublin, was on the spot close by, and was down in a few minutes. He found Jarrott with his left collar bone dislocated, and Bianci crushed, but no bones broken. Both were subsequently removed to Rheban Castle, Athy. Subsequently Surgeon Ormsby and some of the officials arrived at Dunamase from Bloomfield Cross. There was no accident at Bloomfield, as reported.