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County Kildare History and Heritage

Gordon Bennett Motor Race 1903

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Leinster Leader, Saturday 21 February 1903 Page 2.



Mr. Flinter asked the Chairman if there would be any use in applying for a share in the automobile business.

The Chairman said he had written to the Secretary on the matter and he said that no final arrangements had been made yet.

Mr. Flinter: We have a fine road from Poul-a-phuca here.

Chairman: I told them we had 35 miles of a good road.
The matter then dropped.

Leinster Leader, Saturday 21 February 1903 Page 6.


It is announced that the Automobile Club of France have agreed to the date - July 9th - which was suggested by the Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland for the race for the Gordon-Bennett Cup. The American and German clubs have also signified their approval, and accordingly the date mentioned may be regarded as definitely fixed. No objection to the course which has been mapped out in Ireland is anticipated from any of the competing clubs, and the only difficulty that now remains is the passing of a short special Act of Parliament legalising the race. The Irish members appear to be unanimously in favour of such a measure, and no indication of opposition has yet been given from any quarter. There is, indeed, no reason why the Bill should not be treated as a non-controversial measure, and passed by consent after midnight on an early day. An effort was made by the Kerry County Council to secure the holding of the race in their Co. but the Secretary of the Automobile Club has found the course suggested by them unsuitable for a high speed motor race. It is highly probable, however, that some hill climbing contests will be held in Kerry, whilst it is certain that a large number of the motor tourists will visit that beautiful County. The Automobile Club are well satisfied with the Naas course, and when the improvements to the surface have been carried out by the aid of the public fund which has been started by them, it should prove a most satisfactory route for the big race.

It is further stated that the Automobile Club de France as well as agreeing to the date, have also with some modifications agreed to the Naas course. They do not like the loop from Maryborough to Abbeyleix, and ask to have this portion omitted. By this plan the cars, instead of entering Maryborough and running on to Abbeyleix will avoid the former town by turning to the left some distance outside Maryborough and bearing for Stradbally. This will enable a control station to be dispensed with at Maryborough and Abbeyleix, and should greatly facilitate the drivers. The winding portion from Carlow to Athy will be altered if at all possible, and an endeavour made to get a straighter route in this district. Several other minor modifications may have to be cared out in order to get the course into the best condition; but now that all the competitors are agreed to the date and venue, and as the bill will doubtless be taken up as a Government measure, the event may be practically regarded as a certainty.