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Kildare > Heritage > Gordon Bennett Motor Race > Background to 'The Gordon Bennett Cup Race 1903

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Media / Press Release on behalf of
Athy Heritage Centre, Emily Square, Athy, Co. Kildare

June Bank Holiday Week End Road Closures in Kildare, Carlow and Portlaoise for The Irish Gordon Bennett Race Centenary Celebrations

There will be 93 Vintage, Veteran, pre and post 2nd. World War and modern Racing Cars competing for the fastest laps in their various classes.

The following roads will be closed with diversions in place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the following days.

Saturday 31st. May in County Kildare

N78 (sign posted as the alternate route to the N7) Kilcullen to Athy Road between Fontstown and Russselstown
To allow for The Time trials at the Moate of Ardscull.

On Sunday 1st. June At Baganelstown Co. Carlow.

The Quay and Green Road will be closed. To allow for The Time trials.

On Sunday 2nd June At The Heath, Portlaoise.

The Stradbally to Old N7. From The Golf Club to The Gaelic Grounds. To allow for The safe running of the Time trials, also the final four holes of The Heath Golf Club will be closed.

In all cases public viewing areas are adjacent to the Time Trial Courses. The Public are advised to follow the Stewards Directions and keep children supervised. This is the first time in 100 years that these roads have bee used as Motor Race tracks.

Why the Celebrations?

Prior to the original Irish Gordon Bennett Race in 1903, Time Trials were held at various venues throughout the country. These Time Trials are being re-enacted as to celebrate the opening of The Centenary Celebrations of the Race. It was the Biggest Sporting Event of the 20th Century. It happened in 1903 and no Sporting Event since attracted greater Crowds, Enthusiasm or interest. Mercedes won the race for Germany, but French, English, American and Belgian drivers were contestants. At the time there were only 250 motor cars in the 32 counties and here they were racing on what was to be the first Circuit Road Race Course in the World. What you see on T.V. today started in Kildare Laois and Carlow 100 years ago.

The Gordon Bennett Co. has been set up by the three County Councils and their Tourist Interests to promote the route as a Tourist attraction to get visitors off the Motorways and bypasses and once again see the real Ireland. It is anticipated that the route can be promoted as an area to visit between Dublin and the Tourist attractions of the South and west. It should be particularly attractive to visitors from those countries.

For Further information contact Sean Cleary, Chairman / P.R.O. of The Gordon Bennett Company Ltd. at 0507 24164 or 087 9090044.

Issued on behalf of the Gordon Bennett Company Limited
by Athy Training And Enterprise Centre

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