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Gordon Bennett Cup in auto racing

Magazine spread of England's Gordon Bennett Cup Team, 1903
Thery, 1904 & 1905 winner
Jenatzy, 1903 winner

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.

The Gordon Bennett Cup auto races drew entrants from across Europe including future aviator Henry Farman and from the United States competitors such as Alexander Winton driving his Winton automobile. 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 Cup winners:

Year Track Winner Car Country
1900 Paris to Lyon, France Fernand Charron Panhard 22px-Flag of France.png France
1901 Paris to Bordeaux, France Léonce Girardot Panhard 22px-Flag of France.png France
1902 Paris, to Innsbruck, Austria Selwyn Edge Napier 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png United Kingdom
1903 Athy, County Kildare, Ireland Camille Jenatzy Mercedes 22px-Flag of the German Empire.svg.png Germany
1904 Taunus mountains in Germany Léon Théry Richard-Brasier 22px-Flag of France.png France
1905 Circuit d'Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France Léon Théry Richard-Brasier 22px-Flag of France.png France

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