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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 – Page 4
(editorial)

LEINSTER LEADER
“FIDES ET PATRIA.”
SATURDAY, JULY 4, 1903.
THE MOTOR RACE.

The Motor Race is over. It has been truly a “big event,” but the results have after all a very small magnitude. France and Germany beat the world in the production of the high-speed motor. This is the sum total! The superiority of the German is, of course, merely a matter of seconds, and a matter of mechanical adjustment. There is no question of the human element in the case at all. England, America and France equal if not surpass their successful rivals in the personal qualities or nerve and recklessness. The deciding factor has been neither Gabriel, Winton, Edge nor Jenatzy, but the inanimate supremacy of engine, valves and working parts. A huge advertisement for German cars is, when all is said and done, a poor return for the risks, the labour, the disorganisation and the huge expenditure that have been incurred. The race has produced two disappointments – one highly gratifying, the other less agreeable. The prophet of evil and blood is over-whelmed with confusion. The Irish Race has made a record in freedom from accident – in splendid organisation on the part of the public departments charged with the public safety and the transmission of intelligence – in the warmth of hospitality extended to the foreign visitor. The disappointments that have accrued affect speculators who have lost heavily, and in a lesser degree some of the public who accepted exaggerated forecasts. There has not been the mass of sight-seeing humanity expected – the material harvests looked forward to have not been quite reaped. Nevertheless the Irish people have reason to congratulate themselves on what has been a splendid demonstration to the world at large of a discipline, a courtesy and a hospitality that stands unrivalled.