Round 8 Knighton Sand Pit

18 drivers competed in round 8 and the 5th Unsealed surface event of the Isle of Wight Car Club’s season, held at Knighton sand pit.

This active sand quarry requires drivers to twist their way around piles of sand, rock and even giant digger buckets. Unlike other venues remembering the course is not often an issue thanks to the many landmarks, however, deep sand, loose gravel surfaces and even a water splash prove challenging enough for many competitors.

The battle for the fastest lady of the day was fought between Sue Mitchell driving her normal every day car, a Fiat Seicento, who finished 3rd, Kelly Read in her Mx5 who claimed 2nd and today’s fastest lady and 11th overall Marion Brett in her classic Mini.

In the unmodified classes Ricky Shepherd as usual astounded onlookers by driving his standard class 1 Rover 45 to not only win class 1 but place 8th overall. Tony Long drove very smoothly in his standard Mx5 to place fastest class 2 car and 10th overall.

Modified cars make up classes 3 and 4. Steve Brett, despite being stuck in the sand earlier in the day, pushed his classic Mini hard and at one point was in 4th place overall but had to settle for fastest class 3 and 7th place overall. Dan Morgan literally waisted no time when attempting to perform the perfect lap, on one occasion he abandoned his run after glancing at the trackside lap timer and noticed he was down on his best split time. This attention to detail bagged fastest class 4 and 4th place overall.

Respect has to go to Danny Grist who despite being in a class full of turbo four wheel drive Subaru Imprezas drove his front wheel drive Peugeot 205 to 6th place overall.

Class 5 is for single seater specials or for cars that do not fit in any other class and it was class 5 that ended up monopolising the podium. Andy Williams opted to miss his final 6th run of the day due to having a bad back, but his 5th run was enough to stand on the 3rd step of the podium. Will Thomas’ day was bookended by bad luck, his first 3 runs were plagued by penalties for touching cones and his 6th and final attempt to stand on the top step was halted by a mechanical failure.

Running away with the unsealed championship, Chris Wilson drove a penalty free day and  sprayed the champagne after delivering the fastest overall time.

Inspired by the Olympic games held in Rio drivers were also awarded with novelty bronze, silver and gold medals by Isle of Wight Car Club chairman Malcolm Smith.


Venue change for round 8

12932590_1258669674162233_2197407870524151354_nUnfortunately the farmer of Haslett Farm is unable to harvest the crop in the field we intended to use for round 8 on the 21st of August 2016 unsealed surface event. This means we cannot use this venue on the intended date.

However we have been able to secure Knighton Sandpit so, same time, different venue.

see you on Sunday at Knighton Sandpit



A very dusty Haslett Farm

The amazing thing about competing on an unsealed surface is you never know what to expect. Haslett Farm offered a freshly cut stubble field and has only been used by the club twice before, once when it was raining and once in the dry. Despite the weather lady predicting clear blue skies, 26 drivers arrived at the West Wight venue to find a sky full of drizzle.

An unsealed surface forward only autotest is the same as a sealed surface (tarmac event) but on a loose surface. Drivers have to remember a course created by traffic cones and drive around it one at a time without hitting a cone or getting lost. The driver with the fastest time of the day wins.

As with any normal event it takes a few attempts to remember the course and with the damp stubble most drivers took advantage of the lack of traction to drift and learn how to control their cars in a slide.

Despite these conditions Chris Wilson set a blistering first run of 1:00:34. This not only set one of the fastest times of the day but created a path in the field for everyone else to follow in his single seater special.

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By mid-morning the sun came out and tried the exposed soil creating some spectacular dust clouds. However, with the added grip cars started to fail, Kevin Richardson in his MX-5 rolled a tyre off its rim, Alex Spencer, who made the trip down from London to compete, missed out on his third run due to a clutch hose leaking on his Mx-5 and Collin Kill had a problem with the wheels on his diesel Golf.

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The list of mechanical failures also affected the ladies’ battle. Kelly Read was sharing Alex Spencer’s MX-5 that had the clutch problem. Sue Mitchel’s car broke a cam belt destroying the engine leaving Marion Brett as the sole remaining lady who finished in a very competitive 12th place overall in the Mini she shares with Steve Brett.

Round 4 saw Chris Wilson break the 1-minute barrier with a 0:58:77 and although many other drivers increased their times by the end of the day not even Chris could improve on this time. Only Dan Morgan joined this exclusive sub minute club with a time of 0:59.86 allowing him to claim the second step of the podium and he was joined by Andy Williams in 3rd.


Chris Wilson now leads the unsealed surface championship with 100 points, however, both Will Thomas and Dan Morgan are close behind with 98 points each.

The next Isle of Wight car club event will be back at Haslett Farm on the 21st of August.  please visit the club’s website or follow them on Facebook and Twitter for news updates.

Thank you to Alan Marsh for the action Images

Round 6

The Isle of wight car club returned to what must be the most popular unsealed surface venue on the calendar – Atherfield. The flat open grass field offers drivers the freedom to explore the limits of their cars and their driving ability with little chance of damaging their machines.

The day started wet, and it could have been easy to stay at home in front of the TV with the excuse of watching the Wimbledon tennis final, the British grand prix or even prepare for the Euro football final later that evening, however, 29 drivers chose to brave the rain and take part in some grass roots motor sport.

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No strawberries and cream, but, as usual with this location the freshly cut grass makes the first few runs a challenge of not only remembering the course but trying to keep the car on the court. The damp conditions found drivers understeering, under braking and spinning out with the slightest touch of throttle. Added to this the course was a little tricky to remember. Many top ranked players were called “out” with a wrong test in round 1.

By the mid point of the day, a defined track had been worn into the grass for the drivers to follow, however, just like modern Formula 1, if you strayed from the racing line you would end up on the equivalent of the marbles. In this case, if you touched the lush green grass, you would loose grip and your sector times would diminish. Adam Morgan was the most consistent throwing down purple after purple sectors and steadily decreasing his lap time throughout the day.

As always we like to boast that motor sport is neither sexist nor ageist and today we had plenty of our senior members showing the youngsters how it is done and a great turn out of ladies, including new member Kelly Read.


In the second half, the four wheel drive Subaru Imprezas and single seater specials had possession and banging some very quick times into the back of the net. However, respect has to go to Steve Brett who finished 8th in his classic mini, Dean Long who finished 9th in his class 2 MX5 and an amazing performance by last event winner Ricky Shepherd, this time in his unmodified class 1 Rover 45, finishing 10th palace over all.

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However, in the final penalty shootout the fastest lady of the day was Vicky Cox and Adam Morgan claimed 3rd with Will Thomas missing out on a win by only 0.08 of a second. For the 3rd time this season Chris Wilson sprayed the champagne from the top step of the podium with a deserved win.


The moral of the story, don’t sit on the side lines, come and have a go. Membership is only £25 for the year and if you have never had a go at a car club event before, your first event is free. All you need is a valid driving licence and a car that is safe, visit for more details.

The next event is at Haslett Farm on the 24th of July.

IOWCC Have a go at motorsport – Hill Climb

gurston map.001Many members would like to take part on other forms of motor sport but don’t know where to start or what is involved so we created the Annual IOWCC have a go at motor sport event.

This year we asked club members what type of event they would like to take part in and most wanted to have a go at a hill climb.

The isle of wight Car Club have managed to get our club invited to Gurston Down for their final event of the year on the 11th of September.

For those that attended our information night you will have an insight into what is required to take part in this event.

but in short you will need an MSA Non-Race National B Competition License, approved helmet, overalls and gloves (although you could share these with another competitor if you are running in different classes) and depending on what car you use your car may need a few safety features.

if you already know you are good to go you can now enter at – It will ask if you are a member of BARC. Just say yes so it will let you enter.

if you are not sure what is involved please contact the club via the club email or leave a message in the Facebook event page and we will do our best to help.

Ricky’s first event win and a course to remember

With amazing clear blue skies and a temperature in access of 24‘C most people were heading to the beach, however, 34 drivers returned to BAE systems in Northwood for round 5 and the 3rd sealed surface event of the season.

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The high temperatures were playing havoc with many cars and possibly effecting many of the drivers with an incredible 79 wrong tests being performed on the day. However, those that chose tarmac and rubber over sea and sand were rewarded with a great day of grass roots motorsport.

Initially Ryan Munt topped the leader board followed by David Goodwin in his classic mini, however, Ryan’s car had a resurgence of its carburettor issue that saw his car catch fire and confined to the pits for the rest of the day.
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Once competitors got to grips with the course, the class 5 cars took the lead and by the day’s close all top 6 places were either Locosts or single seater specials. Previous championship winner Dan Morgan was looking to take the win in his Sub Zero but was pipped by 2015 ‘Up and Coming’ award winner Ricky Sheppard as he shaved 3 tenths of a second of Dan’s time.

Ricky has been showing good form and his first ever event win was met by plenty of cheer and congratulations from his fellow peers as he sprayed the champagne from the top step of the podium.


Car auto-testing is a very accessible form of Motorsport and open to anyone with a driving licence and a car. For more information on how to take part please visit our website

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The new KING of Knighton

22 drivers entered the Knighton sand pit to compete in round 4 and the second unsealed surface event of the Isle of Wight car club’s motorsport calendar.

Knighton sand pit is the perfect sun trap, so with beautiful clear skies the day offered a mix of dusty hard ground, loose gravel and an area of particularly deep soft sand.

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The type of cars used at these events vary from single seater ex autograss specials to highly modified saloon cars to standard production cars, each have their advantages and disadvantages, however, speed is not as important as memorizing the course and some drivers have a better memory than others.

Marion Brett and Sue Mitchell were the two ladies battling for the honour of the fastest lady of the day. Sue suffered a puncture and a broken handbrake cable in her Fiat Punto during the day but despite this still managed to finish one position behind Marion Brett in her classic mini.

James Robbins put in a great performance in his VW Golf to get ahead of Steve Wells in his four wheel drive turbo Subaru Impreza and Ricky Sheppard astounded his peers by driving his standard Rover 45 to 12th place overall.

The Lower family made another the trip from the mainland to compete at the Isle of Wight car club, but this time they brought a different car – a classic mini that they campaign in autotest events. Their driving skills have always impressed island members and their ability to place this small agile mini exactly where they wanted on the circuit has cemented their respect with fellow drivers.

The battle at the top of the table was nip and tuck between the two class 5 specials of Will Thomas and Chris Wilson, so much so that on the 5th run they both had identical times of 1:25:26. The final run of the day could determine who would be standing on the top of the podium. If both drivers could not improve on their times it would be a draw and they would share the champagne.

Run 6 was a ying yang round for many, the hard surfaces were now dust and stone free thanks to the all the cars that had swept them clean during the day but the sand section had become so soft and deep that many cars struggled to improve their times. Dan Young’s Turbo powered mini broke a driveshaft in round 5 and the Lower family offered him a drive in their mini and he achieved his fastest time of the day to finish 15th. But all eyes were on the top 2, who would win? Will Thomas lined up and put in a blistering first half but for an unknown reason his motorbike powered special stopped and would not start.

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With no more chances to improve his time it was all down to Chris. After winning at this venue at the last unsealed surface event Chris was on form and dominated all by smashing over a second off his best time of the day. He truly is the new King of Knighton.

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The next event is a sealed surface event at BAE systems on the 5th of June.

A full list of results and more information on how to take part, can be found on the Isle of Wight car club website

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12932590_1258669674162233_2197407870524151354_nPlease note we have had to make a change to the calendar due to planned harvest at Atherfield farm being put back due to the bad weather.

We have swapped the venues for round 5 and 6 so

on the 5th of June we will be at BAE and Atherfield will be on the 10th of July.

Sorry for any inconvenience but at least we still get to go motor racing smile emoticon

IOWCC have a go at a Hillclimb information night

IOWCC Annual Motorsport Experience Event

2016 Hurston Down Hill Climb

Some of you may have taken part in the IOWCC Facebook poll where we suggested that it would be a great annual event to offer club members a chance to try a different type of motorsport. The options included drag racing, Sprinting, trackday etc and the majority voted for taking part in a hill climb.

So we are inviting club members to join us and have a go at the world famous Gurston Down on the 11th of September.

Competing in a hill climb event is a little more involved than a normal IOWCC event, you car will need to pass a stricter scrutineering and you will need to have or borrow an approved motorsport helmet and racing overalls etc.trackmap

The Club is hoping to subsidise this event for club members in some form or other, maybe towards your entry fee or maybe a ferry discount.

It just so happens that club members the Greenen family who you may know from campaigning their white classic mini 1275GT mini have been very successfully competing in hill climb events in the last 2 years
On the 20th of May at 8pm at the Camphill prison social club Chris, Adam or Andy Greenen are more than happy to discuss what is involved in taking part in the event in September and how to prepare your car and what kit you will need.
The bar will be open so not only will this be an insight to anyone who is interesting in taking part in this years motorsport experience event, it will also be a good social.

If you are interested please come along but please let us know by saying you are going to this facebook event as we need to confirm names and numbers with the Camphill Prison Social Club ASAP.