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1903 Grand Prix Season

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1903 Grand Prix Season
Photo Credit: Attribution Unascertained.
Champion Constructor: None
Putative Constructor: Panhard et Levassor (FR,0,8)
Champion Driver: None
Putative Driver: Fernand Gabriel (FR,0,1)
Putative Constructor Entry Specification: Model 70, 13.7-liter, four-cylinder inline, water-cooled cylinder jackets, suction-operated inlet valves, four-speed, 70 horsepower (Arthur Krebs).

The Panhard run continues, yet rising Mors takes the honors at the Paris-Madrid event in May. West Ellis, Wisconsin USA hosts the inaugural AAA Milwaukee Mile at purportedly the oldest purpose-built speedway in the world in September. American inventory Clyde Coleman receives a USA patent for an electric motor starter in November. Departures: Marcel Renault, 31, b. Paris, France 1872, d. postrace GP Paris-Madrid, May. New Racing Makes: American Buick. American Ford. French Clément-Bayard. American Pope-Toledo. American Pope-Hartford. French Hotchkiss et Cie. American Marmon. American Jackson. American Auburn. American Mitchell. American Columbus Buggy. American Overland. American Matheson. British Talbot. French Corre La Licorne. British AC Cars. Racing Evolution: Early streamlined Grand Prix racing chassis (Mors). Sixteen-liter displacement engines (Panhard et Levassor). Valve overlap concept (Riley). Introduction of the 'parc ferme' concept at the Paris-Madrid Grand Prix.

HeM applies the Putative Model to all racing seasons for two primary purposes: First, to effectively normalize all racing seasons for empirical comparison across the decades, and second, to step clear of series organizers which score season championships primarily out of commercial interest or to attract manufacturer participation. The Putative Model simply scores all seasons in the same fashion as a standard track and field meeting, with the only purpose of tracking what takes place at the finishing stripe If the Putative Champion differs from the nominal Series Champion, please note the (SC) notation below.

Panhard Levassor27     Gabriel15
Mors20     B. de Crawhez14
Mercedes13     Jenatzy12
Renault8     L. Renault8
De Dietrich8     Girardot8
CGV8     B. de Knyff8

Noteworthy 1903 Races

1903 Paris-Madrid Grand Prix Madrid, Spain1903 1903 Paris-Madrid Grand Prix At Madrid for the Paris-Madrid race (1014 kilometers, four days) in May, the race comes to a French Mors Z under Fernand Gabriel (FR) in 5:14:31.2 (average 40.58 mph), over fifteen minutes ahead of a Renault entry. Day 1 results in abject disaster as the unmarshaled contest claims six lives and leaves reputed French automobile manufacturer Marcel Renault clinging for his life in critical condition after a high-speed shunt into a ditch. The shattering events prompts French premier Émile Combes to bar any future running of the event over French territory, and the Spanish government immediately responds in like kind. Despite the carnage, race observers take note that French driver Louis Renault attains an unofficial record top speed of 88.75 miles per hour along the route in his thirty-horsepower eponymous entry before officials red flag the contest. In a first for motorsport, race officials establish the concept of a protected 'parc ferme' area to prohibit entrants from working upon their racing entries overnight in between the stages. Photo Credit: Attribution Unascertained.