The new King of Knighton

The last round of the Isle of Wight car club unsealed surface season was held at Knighton sand pit.

Chris Wilson had more points than he needed to be crowned the USS champion of 2016, however, this was not going to stop him from attempting to win all 4 Knighton events of the season.

There are trophies for the overall USS championship as well as for each class. It’s a bit complicated but basically there are 1st, 2nd and 3rd place trophies in each class up for grabs as long as there are enough competitors who have competed in a minimum number of events.

Many of these class trophies had yet to be decided and almost all of the 17 competitors who attended this event were fighting to have their name engraved and immortalised in Isle of Wight car club history.


This amazing venue requires drivers to be able to navigate a mix of terrain, unlike the previous event at Atherfield where times are guaranteed to improve throughout the day. Being an active sand quarry the ground is covered in small stones and this makes the first few runs like driving on an ice rink, on the flip side, the sand sections are smooth and grippy.

However, as the day progresses the stones get brushed away with each car but the sand section becomes slow and rutted.

In class one Steve Glass was trying as hard as he could to stay close to the time posted by Ricky Sheppard, however, Ricky and his Rover 45 seem to have some form of symbiosis as not only was he uncatchable in class 1, he finished 6th place over all.


Class 2 consisted of 2 MX5s driven by 6 drivers, Dean Long is a master of controlling these cars and finished at the top of class 2 and 5th place overall.

Class 3 had Marion and Steve Brett battling against Dan Young in their classic Minis. Dan initially struggled to remember the course but once he knew where he was going there was no stopping him. Dan finished top of class 3 and 8th place overall.

All wheel drive Subaru Imprezas were the weapon of choice in class 4. These cars may have the power and grip but threading these large cars through the cones requires a special kind of driver. Steve wells scuppered his chances by taking too tight a line around one of the sand piles and getting his car that he shares with Jill broomfield stuck, luckily not before Jill posted a time quick enough to clame the fastest lady of the day award. Dan Morgan however kept all 4 wheels on the track and stood on the second step of the podium at the day’s close.


Class 5 is for cars that don’t fit into any of the other classes. Chris Wilson and Andy Williams were sharing their single seater ex Autograss special. All seemed lost when mid-way through the day Chris Wilson launched his special off the start line but instantly broke his throttle cable. To many other competitors this would have meant disaster, however, Andy and Chris know from bitter experience that a good spares package can save the day. Once the spare throttle cable was fitted both were fighting for the top spot. With such quick times on their 5th run, there was no need to go out on their 6th, Andy was content with 3rd place overall and Chris took the top step on the podium.


With Chris winning every round held at this venue this year he truly is the King of Knighton.

Images (apart for the podium) by Allan Marsh


Invited back to Hill Climb in 2017

Thanks to the success of the clubs try a new motorsport event in 2016 at Gurston Down Hill Climb, we have been invited back with the intention of making this an annual IOWCC fixture.

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Taking part in a hill climb event requires a little more prperation than taking part in a IOWCC event, you will need an MSA licence (no test just fill in a form and pay), a pair of race overalls, gloves and helmet (these have to meet regs so check first before buying) and a car that is safe.

A quick note on the cars – standard cars can run as they are with only a few safety sitckers, however, modified cars may require additionl safety equipment.

We will hold a meeting and a car prep workshop leading up to this event early 2017 so that any questions can be answered and you will have plenty of time to prep both yourself and your car for this event.

Go on, have a go at hill climbing in 2017.

Big Points for competitors

Only 21 drivers entered round 10 of the Isle of Wight Car Club’s unsealed surface event at Atherfield.

Disappointing in one respect, but it meant more championship points for those that turned up.

Despite heavy rain over night the large open grass field was bone dry and stayed dry for a great day of grass roots motorsport.

As usual the first few runs on this lush green grass are very slippery and many drivers use this as an excuse to practise their drifting.

By run 2 Chris Wilson in his single seater special was knocking on the door of a sub minute run with a time of 1:00.05, not far behind was Steve Brett in his classic mini.

Atherfield is unique in that as long as the weather holds out, run times drop very quickly as the day progresses. This is in part due to the drivers learning the course and driving faster, but also, as this field unlike Haslet farm is never ploughed, the grass wears away with each car, so the course becomes more and more tractable and unlike a ploughed filed the soil is hard and not prone to rutting.

The down side of this is, if a driver deviates from the worn course, they will end up on that lush green grass and traction and steering will be lost.

The class 1 battle was between Sue Mitchell, Steve Glass and Ricky Sheppard and as usual Ricky astounded everyone with his ability to pilot his beige Rover 45 round the course faster than many purpose built modified cars.


Joe Charalmbous was competing against the Long family and the Richardson family, each in their respectively shared MX5s. Dean Long put his drifting skills to good use and claimed the top spot followed by his father Tony Long. Kevin Richardson was not far behind and was joined by his father Barry Richardson and new member younger brother David Richardson.


Just as class 2 is monopolised by MX5s, class 3 seems to be the domain of the classic mini. Dan Young almost did not make this event as he could not get his mini to start. But again the camaraderie of the club members came to the fore as drivers scrambled to get Dan on the track. After John Dutch diagnosed the issue as spark plugs, Dan was able to complete against Marion Brett and Steve Brett in the last 3 runs of the day.  As with any new build there are going to be teething issues, however, already Dan’s mini is looking very competitive.


Class 4 is a genuine mix of RWD, FWD and AWD. Brother and sister team of Tom and Kelly Reed were campaigning their modified MX5, Mark Hill had his first off road event in his 205. Dan Morgan as always was using his Impreza to good effect and Steve Wells was sharing his Impreza with new member Will Overton. Will is no novice when it comes to driving off road but this event must have seem very tame to what he is used to. Will has recently come back from the USA, where he competed in the King of the Hammers event and finished an amazing 7th place overall.


Class 5 is for cars that don’t fit into any of the other classes. John Dutch was back with a vengeance in his ex grasstrack classic mini and trading places with Andy Williams and the dominant Chris Wilson in their shared single seater special.


The battle between the ladies culminated in all 3 finishing next to each other in the results table, however, Kelly Reed was presented with the flowers for being the fastest lady of the day.

At the events close only 4 tenths of a second separated the top 4, however, due to striking a cone on his last run Chris Wilson was demoted to 4th place allowing Dan Morgan to stand on the 3rd step of the podium. John Dutch just missed out on the top step by only 7 100ths of a second and was so pleased with his result, he refused to run away from the champagne sprayed by event winner Andy Williams.


Despite Chris Wilson not getting onto the podium, it was smiles all round as with 4th place Chris now has enough points in the bag to be crowned the USS Champion of 2016 at the next round.

The next and final unsealed surface event will be held at Knighton Sandpit on the 9th of October.

Thank you to Allan Marsh for the fantastic action images

Round 9 at the Isle of Wight College

After a summer time of unsealed surface events, drivers were looking forward to returning to the tarmac and the Isle of Wight College did not disappoint.

29 competitors with a variety of cars entered round 9 and the 3rd sealed surface event of 2016.

September is still officially summer time, however, the leaves in the college car park had started to fall and it had that autumnal feel in the air. The college carpark is divided into many different sized segments, some large and open, proving popular with the drift happy rear wheel drive cars, and some narrow twisty sections, where the small front wheel drive cars thrived.

Sections of damp tarmac required drivers to slow down or at least be careful as losing control would result in damaging wheel rims or worse on the curb lined borders of trees and shrubs.

What initially seemed a long and complicated course soon materialised into a nice flowing yet technical circuit.


Drivers are ranked on their fastest time of the day out of 6 individual runs and what competitors normally do is start slow, learn the course and slowly increase their speed during the day.

Very rarely will anyone set the fastest time of the day in run one, however, Dave Goodwin recalls a time when he did just that back in 90s when it snowed during run 2,3,4,5 and 6.

It may have been autumnal but there was no risk of snow or rain on Sunday, however, some drivers were fast right from the off. Dan Morgan and Ryan Munt set the timing screens alight with a blistering 55 seconds and only 100th of a second separating them. Hot on their tail were Will Thomas and Chris Greenen with 56 seconds, again only 3/10ths of a second separating them. This was the start of a very close and competitive day.

Talking of setting things on fire, Ryan Munt again threw down the gauntlet in round 2 setting a time of 52.76 seconds and finishing within the confines of the stop box with his car on fire. With Ryan not liking his car this hot, Dan Morgan allowed Ryan to drive his car for rounds 3 and 4. But Just like Goldilocks Ryan did not find this car to his liking either, so Steve Wells allowed Ryan to share his car for round 5 and 6 and Ryan found this car to be “just right”.


With Dan Morgan and Steve Wells running in the same class 5 as Ryan, allowing fellow competitors to borrow each others cars when fighting for a championship demonstrates the great sportsmanship and camaraderie within the club.

Sue Mitchel and Steve Glass have a new car after destroying their Fiat at the last event. We are not counting but I think this is car number 3 for this year alone. Sue was also in competition with Marion Brett for fastest lady of the day. Marion was sharing her very competitive class 3 Mini with her partner Steve Brett and was not only 4 seconds faster than sue  but now has a substantial lead towards the highest placed lady of 2016.

The club welcomed new member Dan Farrow who thoroughly enjoyed his day in his classic Vauxhall Chevette.  New cars included Mark Hill’s Peugeot rally car and Joe Charalmbous was campaigning his newly acquired classic Mini.

In round 3 nobody could touch Ryan’s round 2 time, however, Andy Williams deposited a time of 53.74 before handing over the single seater to Chris Wilson. On Chris Wilson’s 3rd run he misjudged a 180 turn and struck a curb fracturing his rear wheel rim and causing him to score a DNF (did not finish). After some frantic action in the pits Chris and Andy replaced the wheel and once the car was passed by the scrutineer Chris jumped back in and set the fastest time of the day with his 4th run.

Run 5 saw Adam Greenen come to the fore in his classic Mini with a blistering time of 52.60 and cemented his lead in round 6 with a time 3/10ths of a second quicker of 52.30.

A well-deserved and popular winner.


Chris Wilson had to retire his car in round 5 and 6 as it came apparent the suspension was also damaged but he had done enough to secure 3rd place overall and Ryan Munt, thanks to Dan Morgan and Steve Wells, finished 2nd in his borrowed car.

The next event is an unsealed surface forward only auto test held at Atherfield on the 25th of September.

Treasure Hunt

The annual Isle of Wight Car Club Car treasure hunt and social evening 

Car treasure hunts are great fun for all the family and friends.

Its effectively an afternoon fun treasure hunt, driving around the island looking for clues and answering questions, then back to base for a social and BBQ. You don’t have to be a member of the Isle of Wight Car Club to join in so bring along as many people as you wish to enjoy the day.

You can have as many people as you want in each car or if you wish you can just do it on your own, the event is not timed so its not a race, but you do have to be back in time for the prize giving.

Sign on and entry is at 2pm

You will leave sign on in five minute intervals to avoid bunching at the start. I reckon it will take a couple of hours so results and prize giving after everybody is back at 7 ish.

BBQ afterwards. Bring your own food and cook it yourselves.Bring your own beer too.

bring chairs so people have somewhere to sit.

last year we played, cricket, sack racing etc, so if you have any ideas for fun games bring them along.

Cost as last year at £10 per car/team.

We also hope to have a trophy for the winning team.

The treasure hunt will be a fairly simple format. Some easy clues and some a bit more difficult/cryptic. If people are attending with children it will be interesting for them too.

The venue for the start and for the social and BBQ at the end is at Brighstone Holiday Centre on the military road.

Unfortunately despite being held in a camp site there is NO planned camping this year 

see you there

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