Gordon Bennett route, Ireland 2013 30 May – 5 June
“James Gordon Bennett (1841-1918) was born in 1841 of an Irish mother and a Scottish father, who owned the New York Herald Tribune. Born into a wealthy family he did not experience the need to have to make do and to work hard for the basic necessities to survive. In 1900 he sponsored the first ever international motoring competition – The Gordon Bennett Cup Race: the first to be held on a closed circuit. He sponsored six races in total, the first three and the sixth were held in France. The fourth was held in Ireland and the fifth was in Germany. The Gordon Bennett Cup Race paved the way for modern Grand Prix racing. The first French Grand Prix in 1906 was testament to the growing commercialisation and international trend on motorcar manufacturing. The Gordon Bennett Cup Race is often referred to as the race that saved motorsport.”
The Irish are very proud of the history surrounding the Gordon Bennett route and the revival of it has been done very sympathetically by a very enthusiastic board of experts. Having recce’d the event we were also suitably enthused to promote the event and devise a tour to it.
Thursday 30th May
We will board the fast craft from Holyhead to Dublin. We then drive in convoy to our superb hotel just south of Dublin and close to Mondello Park. We will get into the Irish spirit here at the hotels totally authentic yet recently built ‘Irish’ pub. This evening we will have a private dining room located by the cars parked out the front of the hotel.
Friday 31st May
After a full Irish breakfast (or a continental if you prefer!) we will take a gentle run out to familiarise ourselves with the Irish roads with visit to a fantastic stately home full of very interesting history. We will park our cars at the front and take afternoon tea here after our visit.
Saturday 1st June
There will be a run covering the Laois Heritage Trail on this day. Assembly at Treacy’s, The Heath, Portlaoise at 10.30 a.m. and rally will commence no later than 11.30 a.m. We will also be taking part in the Rose of Tralee Parade. That evening we will attend the three course dinner held at Gandon Inn.
Sunday 2nd June – Gordon Bennett Route
This day will involve cars assembling at Treacy’s, The Heath, Portlaoise and giving the opportunity to drive the original Gordon Bennett Route. The run is 104 miles with an optional run of 74 miles and will start at intervals between 10.30 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. There will be a number of stops and refreshments en route and the run ends at The Gandon Inn for Presentation of Plaques.
Monday 3rd June
This morning we check out of our hotel and head east taking in some cultural stops along the way as we head towards the beautiful Irish coast. We will spend this evening in a delightful inn with dinner in their very pleasant restaurant.
Tuesday 4th June
Today we head back to the port for the ferry back into Holyhead