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Following on from the news this week that a major, closed-road motorcycle race will take place on the Isle of Wight next year, Island Echo introduces the team behind the Diamond Races Isle of Wight 2021.

As previously reported by Island Echo, riders will battle it out in a time trial format at speeds of up to 210mph on a 12.4-mile road course through villages such as Chale, Shorwell and Brighstone next October.

The event is being led by a world-class, best in the business team from the racing industry. So, who are they…?

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Gary Thompson MBE, BEM – Clerk of the Course

Gary Thompson joins the Diamond Races team as the Clerk of the Course, bringing his wealth of expertise and experience to the Isle of Wight. Gary has been the Clerk of the Course of the Isle of Man TT, Classic TT and Manx GP since 2011 and being safety focussed, he also has the globally-recognised NEBOSH health and safety qualification as part of his event safety expertise. Formerly a serving officer in the British Army, Gary was awarded an MBE and BEM for operational service.

Steve Plater – Rider Liaison, Recruiting & Safety Advisor

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Former British Champion, Isle of Man TT winner, and multiple North West 200 and Macau Grand Prix winner, Steve Plater is well-versed in the motorcycle racing industry from all aspects. Since retiring from racing, Plater is now heavily involved with TV presenting and commentating whilst off-track and is a respected test rider, instructor and rider coach whilst on track.

Neil Tuxworth – Team/Rider Liaison & Recruitment Manager

The jack of all trades and master of all, Neil Tuxworth joins the Diamond Races team with invaluable expertise in the field. Tuxworth has a long history of racing in every class from 50cc to 1000cc. In his 21 years of racing, Tuxworth completed in 68 TT races with 5 podium finishes, was runner up in Formula 2 World Championship (now Supersport), as well as competing for England in ice racing, competing in over 3,500 sand races (and winning around 2,500 of them), speedway, endurance and has achieved wins at the Manx GP, Indian GP, and Ulster GP and Silverstone Grand Prix.

Most recently, Tuxworth is known for his position as ex-Honda Racing Manager, a position he held for 28 years that saw 57 World Superbike wins for the team and Superbike World titles for Colin Edwards and John Kocinski, as well as over 60 TT wins with riders such as Steve Hislop, Joey Dunlop, Carl Fogarty and John McGuinness.

Eddy Forster-Knight CBE – Chief Operating Officer

Eddy joins the Diamond Races team as the Chief Operating Officer following his global experience working in programme management, risk, security, intelligence, high-risk operations and resilience, alongside his substantial experience serving in the British Army as a senior Army executive (Brigadier).

James Kaye – Co-Founder & Race Originator

Where it all started. James Kaye, a resident on the Isle of Wight, originally had the idea of bringing a road race to the island and has been working closely with Paul ever since to make his idea into a reality. A legendary name in British Touring Car Championship history, James claimed 3 championship titles during his 15-year tenure with Honda and although he no longer races, he still surrounds himself with all things motorsport.

Matt Neal – Race Advisor

3-time British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) Champion and 6-time BTCC Independents Champion, Matt Neal is a British motor racing driver who has contested over 600 BTCC races since joining the series at the beginning of the 1990s. Involved in motorsport for over 30 years, Matt is also the UK ambassador for Honda.

Paul Sandford – CEO & Co-Founder

Paul Sandford is the driving force behind the creation of the Diamond Races. With a wealth of experience in digital management and entrepreneurship and being a resident on the Isle of Wight for many years, Paul has set his sights on creating a legacy event within the International Road Racing calendar and Isle of Wight community. Paul has broad experience with both start-ups and going concerns, and is no stranger to working in complex environments utilising new concepts and progressing ideas from conception to delivery.

William Parry – Commercial Officer

William joins the Diamond Races team as the Commercial Officer after working in international roles in customer, brand and sports marketing for over 15 years, including being Head of Global Marketing for HSBC and playing a key role in establishing and marketing a new Formula One team. With a thorough understanding of the international sponsorship marketplace and leveraging sports and venue sponsorship rights, William plays a pivotal role in the strategic development of the Diamond Races.

Steve Legg – Chief Technical Officer

As the Chief Technical Officer, Steve brings his wide practical knowledge of IT architectures and technology to the Diamond Races team. Previously working for IBM as the CTO for Storage and leading their Institute of Coding project, his hands-on approach and ability to deliver complex solutions will support the Diamond Races’ approach to modern motorsport.

You can read more about the Diamond Races at

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Tim C

Some seriously heavy hitters in the industry. Glad to see them all on board along with the big voice of support from locals and I have to hand it to the council for their support too. Just the island MP seemingly hitting the brakes.
I don’t think there’s any need to worry, these guys really really know what their doing.
It really is such fantastic news for the island and will be such a spectacle to see.

Karn Evil 9

Maybe those guys know what they are doing, but after the event, if it actually happens, the emergency services will have a vast increase in accidents on the military road. It doesn’t matter how many times you say to someone “This is a race, please don’t copy what you see at this event on your own bike.” Bikers will.

Tim C

Ah so you know this to be fact do you, having studied the statistics!
You must have been to the isle of man and northwest 500 and other TT races around the country, to do your research that shows an increase in accidents after the events.
Or is it just an offhand comment made with no prior knowledge based on a sceptical opinion….. please share your evidence.
Thats also a pretty overcast opinion of the local motorcycling community.

Last edited 6 days ago by Tim C
Dicky Daniels

Hope they have more luck with weather than TT sometimes suffers.


Bring it on !

Tim C

I think you may have just coined the slogan Steve!

Karn Evil 9

Stupid idea, will encourage more idiots to ride the military road in a wreckless and unsafe manner. Why do you think we had mainland police over here a few weeks ago checking for dangerous driving by motorbike owners. They didn’t come over for the ice cream……


The island needs this it will benefit every one except the moaning old people who think they own the island and the main land police come over because the isle of wight police useless and cant do there job right

Christopher Davis

Utter nonsense this event is sheer madness has anyone asked the people in the villages which it is going to pass through who will be prisoners in their own homes for several days. Another case of the minority shouting loudest.What provision to deal with the undoubted injuries which will occur.Rather than knocking the Police what about those morons who already race around at excess speeds on their motorbikes


Oh come on Karn there been racing on the Military Road for over 30 years and more. As I posted previously if you remember Gurdy (notorious to car and bikers) he used to turn up on the Sunday out of uniform. It’s obviously you have a problem with motorbikes. Also the police didn’t come over just for bikers. Cars were checked as well. This will be an event well marshalled , well organised and an event that will attract a lot of people young and old. Along with other planned events e.g. the Festival, scooterists, Cowes week, Cycling 2023 event,… Read more »

Karn Evil 9

The fact that the police checked cars as well should indicate that the military road has been ILLEGALLY turned into an unwritten race track. As for racing for over 30 years, simply there shouldn’t be.

Bob Frapples

Another resident held prisoner in their own home event


I’m really glad about this, our Island needs something special to bring the visitors over, especially in October. I know people will moan about the disruption, but we’ll cope.
It was outrageous when motocross was stopped after a handfull of people complained. Let’s support this and hope it becomes as iconic as the TT.

Christopher Davis

Should not be on small roads going through villages where people live


This article should be renamed ‘meet the people who feel greedily entitled to close off public roads for private profit’. It’s not just one day, as some supporters are claiming – there will be major disruption to the roads while they are being prepared, then the whole circus will descend, then the heats, then the actual racing before finally the roads will be closed off and worked on again. The noise of screaming engines will destroy the peace across miles of the south of the Island, so avoiding the area as some people are snootily advising will not work unless… Read more »

stephen bushell

I hope it happens it would be be good for the island, but so was the moto-x and that got stopped from coming back by a few objectors, in money terms you have to look at the long term ,the isle of man is a 2 week event 1 week of practise 1 week of racing, needs to be to make it financial viable, put a few killjoys and the incompetence of island roads and the council i think it will be an uphill struggle but lets hope the Diamond Racing team are left alone to set it up.

Jim Pritchard

Why race on roads and not on a race track where there are run-offs and all manner of safety measures?
How many bikers do you estimate will die?
151 bikers were killed at the isle of Man TT between 1907 and 2019 or 250 if you include the Manx Grand Prix and Clubman TT.
Is this event really worth even only one death?


I’m not a resident but I am an enthusiastic biker living in Bucks and this is really exciting news. Most of the bikers I know are respectful and sensible – of course some might go a little faster from time to time and sure some are idiots but biking as a community is getting older and grayer every year and with it less reckless. I think your only problem will be catering for the number of visitors and general demand. As soon as the dates are out we’ll all be booking up !

Tony M

I’ve been an Island resident for over 45 years and I think this is great for the Island. Yes the organisers are in it for the money, and yes it will cause some disruption, and yes the Island needs it! It will beniefit a lot of bsiness as people will need somewhere to stay and eat, especially ice creams!! if 10,000 came (from the mainland) to watch, and spent an average of £100 each over the weekend that would equate to 1 million, not including hotels etc.
Personally I can’t wait to see this and hope that it does happen.


Excellent idea. It’s about time the island had something to boost its economy.
Unfortunately there will be lots of people that will be against it, because it’s going to be a bit inconvenient for them.
The isle of Mann has had great success from their TT. Hopefully the council will approve this, and with it will be jobs and growth for everyone.
Good luck.

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