Media / Press Release on behalf of
THE GORDON BENNETT COMPANY
Athy Heritage Centre, Emily Square, Athy, Co. Kildare
GORDON BENNETT RACES AGAIN
MAJOR FESTIVAL OF MOTORSPORT PLANNED IN KILDARE, CARLOW
A century ago, County Kildare was a hub of motor sport
activity, with the running of the Irish Gordon Bennett Race,
the route of which crossed through Counties Kildare, Carlow and Laois.
An English driver won the 1902 race and England was required to
host the event the following year. Westminster passed a Special law
allowing the race to take place in Ireland in 1903, which was won
by Camille Jenatzy for Germany in a Mercedes, many motor racing commentators
regard The Irish Gordon Bennett Route and Race as the birth of modern
Grand Prix racing.
The three counties of Kildare Carlow and Laois have come together
to commemorate the centenary of the race over the June bank holiday
weekend. On Saturday 31st May time trials will be held at Moate of
Ardscull in Kildare, the original road is being reopened for the occasion.
Trials will commence at 9:00am and continue until 5:00 pm. At Bagenalstown
on Sunday 1st June, the programme will be repeated and at The Heath
in County Laois the time trials will take place on Bank Holiday Monday.
Approx 70 racing cars will participate in these events, including
a 1903 Napier (The English entry in the original race was a 1903 Napier)
driven by John Bentley, a 1916 Hudson driven by Jane Tomlinson. Kieran
White drives a 1930 Thomson Racing Special (This car was built in
Mallow in 1930s and won the last European motor race before
the Second World War.)
Additionally, the Ballknakill Vintage and Classic Car Owners Club
will be driving the full route on Sunday 1st June, with planned stops
in Athy and Kildare town to display the cars between 2:00 pm and 4:30pm.
In the following week the Irish Veteran and Vintage Car Club will
be staging their Centenary celebrations along the same route.
The original 94-mile route will be signposted later in the year.
This route will be marketed internationally as a tourist route by
The Gordon Bennett Company Limited, a Company formed by representatives
from Counties Kildare, Carlow and Laois. Towns and villages along
the route will be encouraged to develop their tourism potential to
entice tourists to leave the motorways and bypasses while heading
For additional information please contact
Sean Cleary, PRO, The Gordon Bennett Company Limited, The Heritage
Centre, Athy, County Kildare. Telephone 0507 24164 or 087 9090044
Pictures of the entries may be obtained by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Further background information regarding the race may be downloaded
or by contacting Mario Corrigan at 087 9871046
Trials information may be obtained from Declan Grogan at 0503 31337,
the full programme may be downloaded from www.gordonbennett.ie