Motorsport fans reeling in the wake of the postponement of the much-anticipated Diamond Races – which were due to take place in October – may have a reprieve, as plans are considered for a new motorcycle race in the West Wight: the Isle of Wight Road Races.
Details on the event have so far been relatively sketchy, even months after it was first announced just a day after the Diamond Races cancellation. The IWRR is said to be a separate event, with a different route, and a different team behind it – rumoured to include once big-time Island events hosts Rob and Josie Da Bank.
Tapnell Farm is to be the base for the 4-day event between the 20th-24th October 2021, and there are set to be some stark differences from the Diamond Races, namely the IWRR being based around a 15 competitor race instead of a time trial. Motorbikes would be racing through Brook, Chesselll, Tapnell, Freshwater Bay, and Compton.
If plans are approved, the races would see some of the main arterial roads in the West Wight closed between 10:30 and 17:30 each day, with diversions in place for motorists and local buses.
Not only must the event reach local approval, but also that of race body ACU – the commercial arm of the Auto Cycle Union – which would be responsible for organising the race. Gary Thompson MBE BEM is expected to be the clerk of the course, a role which he was also to undertake for the Diamond Races.
Organisers expect the IWRR to attract 10,000 spectators in its first year, but some residents of the West Wight believe that the disruption that would be caused by the preparations needed – including the removal of all street furniture on the course, along with road signs and cats eyes along the entire route – outweighs the benefits.
A letter was sent to all parish councils affected by the proposals by the organisers, explaining their intentions to begin consultation with residents last month. The event and the plans submitted was discussed at last night’s parish council meetings (Tuesday). A meeting is expected to take place with the Safety Advisory Group this week.