Simon Taylor and Steve Castle of the Farnborough & District Motor Club met with the organising team from the IW Car Club on 11th April in Sandown to start the process of assessing the venue as a motorsport course.
Top of the list of priorities is ensuring competitor, marshal and spectator safety in all areas. Items such as protecting street furniture (lamp post and signs etc) were looked at ahead of further discussions with Island Roads in due course.
Having completed the initial visit IWCC and F&DMC will now be looking to make an approach to the MSA (UK governing body for motorsport). F&DMC were impressed by the venue and enthusiastic about working with IWCC and Solent to deliver the event.
Format of the event
The recommendation, based upon the initial site visit, is to run the event as a point-to-point only in one direction rather than attempting to turn the cars in the Zoo area (ie so the start and finish would be in the same place). The course being proposed starts near to the Bandstand and ends near to the Zoo with the precise location being subject to approval by the MSA in due course.
The revetment was agreed to provide some very good (and safe) spectating areas. There was also consideration of other areas around the course which could provide good facilities and perhaps be suitable for some temporary grandstands. The event is still being proposed as being free of charge.
More progress can be made regarding spectating facilities once the final course layout has been approved as part of the venue licence. This will also affect how spectators can move around the area when the track is ‘live’.
It was interesting to learn that racing electric vehicles are still very specialist. It cannot be undertaken without special marshal training and equipment that is designed to cope with the very specific issues experience with electric vehicle power packs. However, there is still scope to look at demonstrations and other types of display.
Formal application to the MSA (Motor Sports Association)
The venue licence application process can now begin. As part of this process the MSA will undertake a venue inspection of its own in the near future.
The F&DMC has been asked to liaise with the MSA to progress the formal licence application ahead of meeting with all key partners on the Isle of Wight.
Update of partners
A meeting of all key partners is planned for May or early June.
Meeting time and venue (TBC)