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Local Studies Department

The Gordon Bennett Motor Race 1903 - Leinster Leader June 1903

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

At 4.45 a.m., on Thursday the officials’ special trained[sic] steamed into the station of Monasterevan, and soon the quiet of the town was disturbed by a large throng of officials, pilot cyclists, and control stewards. The arrangements for the management of the control were of the most complete description, and practically nothing remained for the various officials to do but to try and kill time during the four hours which were expected to elapse before the first racer appeared. About half-past five a diversion was created by the appearance of a brace of cars manned by the French and German mechanicians, who proceeded to erect impromptu supply stations close to the entrance to the control. Both stations contained great supplies of petrol and a quantity of spare tyres. The tricolour floated over the French station, while a huge piece of canvas with “Mercedes” painted on it in huge characters served to indicate the location of the German one. About 7 a.m., the inspection car came round, and was followed at intervals of about twenty minutes by two pilot cars, the second of which dashed through at a terrific pace.

The number of spectators at Monasterevan was not large, owing probably to the fact that a view of the racers was possible only over a very limited portion of the course.

Shortly before noon a pilot car went past with Surgeon Ormsby on board, and it subsequently transpired that Jarrott’s car had overturned at Stradbally Bridge. The driver escaped unhurt, but the chauffeur unfortunately dislocated his shoulder.

The Countess of Drogheda and a large party were interested spectators in the control during the day.