1904 Gordon Bennett Cup

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1904 Gordon Bennett Cup
Pre-1906 Grand Prix seasons
Race details
Date 17 June 1904
Official name V Coupe Internationale
Location Taunus, Germany
Course length 128 km (79.465 mi)
Distance 4 laps, 512 km (317.86 mi)
First Richard-Brasier
Second Mercedes
Third Turcat-Méry

The 1904 Gordon Bennett Cup, formally titled the V Coupe Internationale, was a motor race held on 17 June 1904 on the Homburg Circuit in Germany. The race consisted of four laps of the circuit to make the total distance 527 km (327.46 miles). A German entry had won the previous year's edition of the race, which meant that the rights to host the race fell to the Automobilclub von Deutschland (AvD). Germany were to attempt to defend the Gordon Bennett Cup against France, Great Britain, Austria and Italy, and each country was represented by three entries, with the car that finished the race in the shortest time winning the race on behalf of his country.

The race was won by Léon Théry driving a Richard-Brasier and representing France in a time of five hours and 50 minutes. Camille Jenatzy driving a Mercedes and representing Germany finished in second place and Henri Rougier driving a Turcat-Méry and representing France finished in third place.

Race report[edit]

The Times reported the 1904 Gordon Bennett motor race took place in Germany on June 17, over 342 miles (550 km), consisting of four laps of a course in the Taunus Forest,[1] in the vicinity of Bad Homburg.[2] (The venue was suggested by Kaiser Wilhelm II.[3]) From Saalburg the course ran north to Usingen, where there was a control point (for observation by course marshals), then through Grävenwiesbach to Weilburg, where there was a second control point,[citation needed] then past Allendorf and Obertiefenbach to Limburg. The Obertiefenbach-Limburg stage was the fastest of the event, enabling speeds of up to 150 km/h (93 mph). At Limburg there was another control point. From there, the route was by way of Kirberg and Neuhof, where there was a very bad turn, then Idstein where there was another control point.[citation needed] It then ran through Glashütten to Königstein (a control point), then through Friedrichshof and the Oberursel control point[citation needed] to the Homburg control point[citation needed] and back to Saalburg.

Officiating were Baron von Molitor of the Automobilclub von Deutschland, the official starter, and M. Tampier of the Automobile Club de France, who was timekeeper. The chronographs for timing the event were supplied by the Anglo-Swiss firm of Stauffer, Son & Co. Officials from the other competing counties were also present.

There were 18 starters from eight countries,[4] including three British entrants. The first car started from Saalburg at 7 a.m. The winner was France's Leon Théry, who accomplished the four laps in 5 h 50 min 3 s, an average speed of 58.62 mph (94.34 km/h).[citation needed][5] With each of his lap times within 3 minutes of the other, he earned his nickname of "the Chronometer".[6] Jenatzy was second, driving a Mercedes. The only British competitor placed was Sidney Girling driving a Wolseley. Australia's[7] Selwyn Edge, the 1902 winner who again drove a Napier, was reported to have held a good position during the first two laps, but was disqualified[8] on lap three after receiving outside assistance due to tyre problems.[9]


Pos Driver starting for Constructor Time/Retired
1 France Léon Théry (FRA) France Richard-Brasier 5:50:01
2 Belgium Camille Jenatzy (BEL) Germany Mercedes 6:01:29
3 France Henri Rougier (FRA) France Turcat-Méry 6:47:10
4 Belgium Pierre de Caters (BEL) Germany Mercedes 6:47:30
5 Austria Edgar Braun (AUT) Austria Mercedes 6:59:48
6 Belgium Lucien Hautvast (BEL) Belgium Pipe 7:02:35
7 France Jacques Salleron (FRA) France Mors 7:15:14
8 Italy Vincenzo Lancia (ITA) Italy FIAT 7:17:52
9 United Kingdom Sidney Girling (GBR) Great Britain Wolseley 7:22:53
10 Italy Alessandro Cagno (ITA) Italy FIAT 7:23:35
11 United Kingdom Charles Jarrott (GBR) Great Britain Wolseley 7:36:51
Ret United Kingdom Selwyn Edge (GBR) Great Britain Napier *
Ret Belgium Pierre de Crawhez (BEL) Belgium Pipe *
Ret Italy Luigi Storero (ITA) Italy FIAT *
Ret Austria Johann Warden (AUT) Austria Mercedes *
Ret Belgium Maurice Augieres (BEL) Belgium Pipe *
Ret Germany Friedrich Franz Opel (GER) Germany Opel *
Ret Austria Mercedes *
  1. ^ Grand Prix History online (retrieved 11 June 2017)
  2. ^ The Times. Saturday, June 18, 1904
  3. ^ Grand Prix History online (retrieved 11 June 2017)
  4. ^ Grand Prix History online (retrieved 11 June 2017)
  5. ^ Grand Prix History online (retrieved 11 June 2017) says 54.5 mph (87.7 km/h)
  6. ^ Grand Prix History online (retrieved 11 June 2017)
  7. ^ Hull, Peter G. "Napier: The Stradivarius of the Road", in Northey, Tom, ed. The World of Automobiles (London: Orbis, 1974), Volume 13, p.1483.
  8. ^ Hull, p.1488.
  9. ^ Onlookers helped throw buckets of water over the wheels to cool the tyres.
  10. ^ (Beaulieu, p206)
  • Douglas-Scott-Montagu, Edward John Barrington (1963), The Gordon Bennett Races, London: Cassell & Company Ltd.