The Isle of Wight Speed Trials aim to bring organised motorsport back to Isle of Wight roads after primary legislation, providing the framework for closed road motor sport, was passed in the 2015 Deregulation Act. The Isle of Wight Car Club already hosts a calendar of good quality events held on private land, but the Speed Trails will aim to bring the excitement and spectacle of competitive racing back on to closed public roads.
The initial plan is to host an event on Culver Parade in Sandown, although this is still subject to local community buy-in as well as needing considerable support from a number of organisations; from Sandown Town Council and Isle of Wight Council to the emergency service and Island Roads. Most importantly it will also be subject to licensing by the MSA, the governing body for motorsport in the UK.
If there is enough support locally then an application can be lodged with the MSA together with a dossier of information to back the application. If this is successful then a similar process must be undertaken with the Island’s Highways authority.
It will be necessary to demonstrate that the event is safe and viable and takes into consideration any number of requirements from marshalling and spectating to emergency arrangements.
Speed Trials are a long-standing form of motorsport also called sprints. It is a point-to-point event where competing cars cover the distance of the course against the clock with the aim of posting the fastest time. The last time an event like this was held on the Isle of Wight was in the 1950s. The MSA describes sprintes as follows:
Sprint is a high-speed discipline in which drivers take turns to set a time around a lap of a race circuit or a point-to-point course, with the fastest times determining the results. Sprint is a very diverse discipline, with vehicles ranging from near-standard road cars to F1-style single-seaters.