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British Industrial History

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Gordon Bennett Cup

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1904. The Gordon Bennett cup.

As one of three Gordon Bennett Cups established by James Gordon Bennett, Jr., millionaire owner of the New York Herald, the automobile racing award was first given in 1900 in France.

The trophy was awarded annually until 1905, after which the Automobile Club de France (ACF) held the first Grand Prix motor racing event at the Circuit de la Sarthe, in Le Mans.

Under the rules, the races were hosted in the country of the previous year's winner. As the races were between national teams, it lead to the reorganisation and standardisation of national racing colours. Reputedly as a concession to Ireland where the 1903 race was run (racing was illegal on British public roads) the British adopted shamrock green which became known as British racing green, although the winning Napier of 1902 had already worn Olive Green. Britain had to choose a different colour to its usual national colours of red, white and blue, as these had already been taken by the US, Germany and France respectively

Gordon Bennett Automobile Cup winners:

Year Track Winner Car Country
1900 Race Paris to Lyon, France Fernand Charron Panhard France
1901 Race Paris to Bordeaux, France Leonce Girardot Panhard France
1902 Race Paris, to Innsbruck, Austria Selwyn Edge Napier United Kingdom
1903 Race Athy, County Kildare, Ireland Camille Jenatzy Mercedes Germany
1904 Race Taunus mountains in Germany Leon Thery Richard-Brasier France
1905 Race Circuit d'Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France Leon Thery Richard-Brasier France

Also see

Gordon Bennett Balloon Races:

  • 1920 Gordon Bennett International Balloon Trophy

Gordon Bennett Aviation Cup:

  • 1909 Gordon Bennett Aviation Trophy at Rheims
  • 1910 Gordon Bennett Aviation Trophy
  • 1911 Gordon Bennett Aviation Cup, held at Eastchurch
  • 1912 Gordon Bennett Aviation Cup
  • 1913 Gordon Bennett Air International Cup
  • 1920 Gordon Bennett Air Cup

See Also


Sources of Information

  • [1] Wikipedia
  • The Gordon Bennett Races by Montagu. Published 1963.