The original Gordon Bennett Race was run in 1903 by the playboy son of the founder of the New York Herald, Gordon Bennett which sped through the countryside and villages of Kildare, Carlow and Laois. However, instead of the neck breaking race it once was, this 2022 event invites you to take a gentler approach and to travel at your own pace whilst embracing the experience of a weekend filled with fun, nostalgia and liked minded individuals. Please take your time and drive safely – remember this is NOT a race.

Gordon Bennett Classic June Bank Holiday Weekend       

Official Event Launch Friday 3rd from 6.00 PM Portlaoise College

Post Code/Eir Code – R32 N795

This is the official start of our Gordon Bennett Weekend. We are delighted & honoured to showcase the Historic Portlaoise Plane built and flown in Portlaoise in 1912, by the Aldritts Brothers with Carpenter John Conroy & Mechanic William Rogers, is reputed to be the first plane to flv in what later became the Irish Republic. Here we will register drivers and give you your information pack which includes, commemorative grill badge, tulip maps, official program, car grille plaque, & weekend event tickets passes.
There will be some Guest Speakers as well as a Weekend Brief, giving more detail on times and routes for the weekend. Afterwards we will have some refreshments and buffet style finger food. This is an opportunity to meet the organising committee and fellow entrants. Please feel free to bring your car to this launch.

Gordon Bennett Classic

Saturday June 4th Highlights
Meeting at our HQ at Treacy’s the Heath Portlaoise

Post Code /Eir Code – R32 X803 from 9.30 – departing circa 11.00 A.M.

Meeting at our HQ at Treacy’s the Heath Portlaoise (come early & treat yourself to an amazing Irish Breakfast). Visiting Medieval Kilkenny Castle Kilkenny City, we have been invited on to the grounds of this imposing structure. Here all of the cars will be on display to the public in the grounds whilst entrants can visit the many attractions the Castle and Medieval City has to offer. We will depart Kilkenny on a different route to visit the Abbeyleix Manor Hotel for our Drivers Dinner – always remember your tickets.

Gordon Bennett Classic

Sunday Highlights
Meeting at our HQ at Treacy’s the Heath Portlaoise

Post Code /Eir Code – R32 X803
from 9.30 – departing circa 11.00 A.M.

Don your tweeds goggles & cap or dress in the period of your car to re trace the original 1903 route with stops for a talk at the Commemarative Starting Point near the Moate of Ardscull, then to Ballitore Quaker Village to park up for teas and coffees & then to Kildare via the Curragh where the best car will be independently chosen by Cill Dara Old Vehicles Club. You will have ample time to return to your hotel to relax before the evening concludes with our Gala Dinner & presentations at the Midland Park Hotel Portlaoise. Dress code for our dinner is smart casual – always remember your tickets.

Gordon Bennett Classic

Monday Highlights
Meeting at our HQ at Treacy’s the Heath Portlaoise

Post Code /Eir Code – R32 X803
from 9.30 – departing circa 11.00

Leisurely drive day – to the Historic Town of Monasterevin. Monasterevin was a “speed control zone” during the original1903 Gordon Bennett Race, where entrants were led through the town by the R.I.C. (Royal Irish Constabulary) on bicycles. This controlled approach to the town will be re-enacted by actors in full R.I.C. uniform on bicyles leading our entrants into the town as it was in 1903! We are being hosted by the Residents & Community Groups from the Town who have arranged a selection
of Historic Walks, Military Exhibitions, Crafts Stalls and Talks on the Architecture and History of the area. Later we have our annual BBQ in the Gordon Bennett Marquee at the Treacy’s Thatch Pub on the Heath and always remember your tickets.

1903 Gordon Bennett Cup – Afterwards we will have music and craic* and drivers raffle. * Irish for fun.
PLEASE OBSERVE STEWARDS INSTRUCTIONS THROUGHOUT THE WEEKEND START TIMES ARE VARIABLE – PLEASE ATTEND THE DRIVERS BRIEFING DAILY

Gordon Bennett Classic