Isle of Wight Speed Trials
The Isle of Wight Speed Trials is an initiative that aims to promote new motorsport events on the Island. In particular, it was inspired by a recent change in legislation which allowed, for the first time in 60 years, motor racing to be held on closed public roads. Ever since the national speed limits were imposed during 1960s motor racing had effectively been outlawed on anything but private land, such as hill climbs, motor racing circuits and other speed venues. There are of course some famous exceptions such as Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man which both have slightly different legal systems.
Since 2017 it has been possible to apply for a Motor Racing Order from the local authority as long as it has been sanctioned by Motorsport UK, the governing body for motor racing in this country. In November 2018 Tim Addison from Solent approached the Isle of Wight Car Club with a proposal to host a closed public road sprint on the Isle of Wight. The club would be the race organiser and Solent the event promoter. Culver Parade in Sandown was the venue put forward by Solent as it has the advantage of a large seawall to provide a spectator vantage point. It also had the potential to become an interesting sprint course.
An agreement was forged between the two organisations quite quickly and an initial meeting was planned in Sandown with businesses located in the area as well as a number of key organisations such as the Isle of Wight Council, Sandown Town Council and Island Roads. There was an enormous amount of positively and encouragement and so the process of organising the Sandown Sprint was started.
It was highlighted by the IOWCC that it lacked some of the experience and knowledge of larger mainland clubs that had more experience of hosting larger motorsport events. Farnborough and District Motor Club was identified as an ideal partner and were approach to support the Club in its role as organising club. After almost two year of discussions and negotiations with Motorsport UK the organisers successfully applied for an event permit in the summer of 2019.
In September 2019 the organisers applied to the local authorities for a Motor Racing Order and this is currently being processed. The Sandown Sprint is planned for the weekend of 28th & 29th March 2020.