The Revised Course for the 1905 Race
The 1904 Vanderbilt Cup Race was an immediate success with the public and supporters of automobile racing. America finally had a major road race that attracted great drivers and cars from around the world. Newspapers and automobile trade journals heaped praise on Vanderbilt and his event. Enthusiasm swelled in the public and the auto factories, ensuring a second Vanderbilt Cup Race in 1905 to be held on October 14th. It was obvious to American and European automobile manufacturers that exciting road races attracted more customers to their products than the less dramatic reliability trials also run during the period. Many drivers, including 1904 winner George Heath, were critical of the Hempstead and Hicksville controls which required the cars to stop for periods of two and six minutes. In response, the AAA Race Commission modified the 1905 course to eliminate the stops in large towns and reduce the number of sharp turns. The new layout was 28.3 miles long, still through rural Long Island. At 10 laps, the distance covered in the race would be nearly the same as in 1904 at 283 miles. The start-finish line and grandstand were moved to Jericho Turnpike in Mineola, approximately four miles west of the 1904 location.