The 1903 French Team
RACE FACTS: THE TEAMS
THE 1903 Gordon Bennett Cup race brought to Ireland the world’s fastest road vehicles and 12 of the greatest daredevil drivers of their day.
THE FRENCH trio of Rene de Knyff, Henry Farman and Fernand Gabriel were, driving Panhard and Mors cars, were the only full team to finish the course. Race veteran de Knyff secured second place while teammates Farman and Gabriel took third and fourth respectively.
The youngest driver was the devil-may-care 23-year old Fernand Gabriel. He drove the Mors car in which he had just won the ill-fated Paris-Madrid race, which had to be terminated at Bordeaux, after the deaths of many drivers and spectators.
As well as Rene de Knyff, the French team included Henry Farman, who subsequently became Europe’s most significant early aeroplane designer, and the first person to fly 100 miles non-stop.