Photograph taken from an album of images compiled by English motor car manufacturer and aviator Charles Stewart Rolls (1877-1910). The prestigious Gordon Bennett Trophy race was first held in 1900. As the 1902 race had been won for Britain by S F Edge, the British had the honour of hosting the 1903 event, staging it at a circuit at Athy, in Ireland. Jenatzy, a Belgian driving a Mercedes for Germany, completed the 327 miles in 6 hours 39 minutes, winning by over 11 minutes. Rolls was a well known competitor on the motor racing circuit at the time. He failed to gain selection for the 1903 Gordon Bennett race, coming second in an elimination heat held on the Duke of Portland's estate at Welbeck, Nottinghamshire.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library