Isle of Wight TT: a new road racing event postponed to 2022


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Plans to hold a brand new international road race on the Isle of Wight have been delayed until 2022 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The event, named Diamond Races, was scheduled to begin in October 2021 on a 12.8 mile lap with speeds expected to reach 210 mph on the spectacular, wide open section of the Military Road circuit.

A second event called the Isle of Wight Road Race is currently trying to convince IoW residents to get the green light to go ahead in April 2022.

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The program is likely to replicate the North West 200 with practice and qualifying on Wednesday and Thursday, Friday being the rest day with races on Saturday. There will initially be three classes: Superbike (conforming to Superstock specs), Supersport and Lightweight with Sidecars doing demo laps.

The event is an brainchild of Isle of Wight residents Paul Stamford and former UK touring car driver James Cahill and enjoys the full support of the Isle of Wight Council and ACU.

Dave Stewart, Leader and Cabinet Member for Strategic Partnerships, said: “We have been working behind the scenes for some time now with event specialists who are studying the feasibility of such a race, and we are very happy to be able to announce another first for the Isle of Wight. “

In addition to local contributions, the Diamond Races team is made up of motorcycle and road racing experts including Gary Thompson (Isle of Man TT Race Director) Neil Tuxworth (former TT rider and Honda Director Racing for 28 years), Steve Plater (former British champion and TT race winner) and James Hillier (TT winner and current rider). The management team also includes logistics experts and digital media specialists.

With just 15 months to go to the inaugural staging, there is still a lot of work to be done with a focus on cyclist safety and road safety for the island which is a very popular destination for motorcyclists, cyclists and vacationers in general.

“The road surface on the course is excellent and we have fantastic support from the Highways Agency,” said race director Gary Thompson.

“Steve Plater and Matt Neal (former British touring car driver and avid biker) have done a lot of laps over the past five months, so I produced a full risk assessment. There are a few changes to be made to maximize safety and we will have you in sight all the way.

“It’s a 12.8 mile course, but at this point we don’t know an exact lap time, but we think it will be around eight minutes. It’s a time trial so a runner will go every 10 seconds and we are aiming for between 30 and 36 runners as we need time for the grid to be clear by the time the first runner returns. “

Neil Tuxworth, whose role focuses on the safety of the new course, is a Isle of Man TT veteran and can see the highlights of the new event. He said: “Creating another road race is important because over the years we have seen a lot of races go missing. The Isle of Wight has a lot of facilities, more than the IoM in terms of accommodation, and is easier to access. It also benefits from the good weather. “

With the concept fully approved by the local council, planning continues to finalize the exact event format and spectator facilities. The project, with an estimated budget of over £ 2million, will also give investors the opportunity to join us soon.

A map of the proposed Diamond Races route

The Diamond Races in figures:

  • 12.8 lap length in miles
  • 3 classes: Superbike, Supersport, Light
  • 2500 central white lines that will be processed
  • 1050 cat eyes to remove
  • 177 non-slip treated manhole covers
  • 44,000 hotels and B & Bs on the Isle of Wight

“There’s a mix of everything” – Michael Guy, Sports Editor

The Diamond Races team is full of experts

In a landscape where road racing is in decline with the cancellation of the Ulster GP as well as other Irish road races, a brand new international road race on the calendar is a real surprise.

Traveling the course at legal speeds it is clear that it has a mix of everything from relatively narrow technical back roads, mini roundabouts where it runs along the edge of the three villages – Chale, Shorwell and Brighstone – to to the magnificent, wide open, undulating Military Route which is flanked by the English Channel.

Expect over 200 mph, cross wheelies and jumps on what will be a truly spectacular section of the track.

While this is clearly an exciting proposition, the launch of a new road race seems out of step with the health and safety obsessed world we all live in. rule out some level of opposition now that the event has been officially announced to the public.

But the team working on the project reads like a wishlist of people you would want to involve in a new event, which in turn gives it enormous credibility.

And while there are still obstacles to overcome in terms of funding, the Isle of Wight is driven by tourism and has a proven infrastructure and a long history of hosting major events, including the Music Festival of the Isle of Wight and the Cowes Sailing Regatta of the Week. All of this will be overwhelmingly in their favor.

And with several ferry companies operating on three different routes, it will certainly be easy to get to and has the potential to attract visitors and day trippers from the densely populated South of England.


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