Gordon Bennett Cup in Kildare

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Details

Location

Ardscull, Athy, Ballyshannon, County Kildare

Year

1903

Source

Digitised as part of Unlocking Film Heritage

Format

35mm

black and white

Length

01min 08sec

Silent

silent

Courtesy

British Film Institute

Rights Holder

British Film Institute

It is illegal to download, copy, print or otherwise utilise in any other form this material, without written consent from the copyright holder.

Description

Rare footage of the Irish Gordon Bennett motor race. This event was the first motor race to be officially filmed and was run over a figure eight-shaped, closed circuit.

The drivers and cars featured include the Australian-born, British businessman and racing driver, Selwyn Francis Edge. Edge - part of the English team - is seen driving a Napier. The cars raced between Controls which were placed at the entrance and exit from towns. SF Edge appears following a Marshal on a bicycle leading him between Controls in Athy. He is also seen at the start of the race, at Ballyshannon, between Athy and Ardscull. 

The Peerless of Louis Moorers - it was part of the American team and was hopelessly crude and outclassed. It retired soon after the start.

The Breton driver Gabriel driving a Mors for the French team, about to start the race at Ballyshannon. Various people important to the event also appear in the background - Clarence Dinsmore who owned the Mercedes driven by the winner, Camille Jenatzy and M. Michelin who accompanied the French team to ireland. Gabriel is then shown leaving the entrance Control. Gabriel placed fourth in the race despite a persistent misfire.

This film was digitised as part of the BFI's Unlocking Film Heritage project.

 

Notes

As a compliment to Ireland, the British team chose to race in Shamrock green - which thus became known as British racing green.

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