Round 3 of the Isle of Wight Car Club season returned to the unforgiving venue of the Isle of Wight College. The weather forecast was for heavy rain in the afternoon, so competitors were keen to get out and place a good time.
After the mandatory walk round the course, many of the 24 drivers who entered on the day could not remember the course and wanted to hold back before committing to their first run.
One driver who had no concerns about where to go was Wayne Hole in his class 2 MX5. He was first out off the start line and produced a very quick time in the process.
It was nice to see the return of the Lower family who made the trip from the mainland to compete at the event in their class 4 MX5. Not content with producing a quick time, they also astounded the onlookers with their flamboyant driving style.
Another welcome return was that of Gerald Wilby who bravely muscled his Austin Healey around the tight unforgiving curbs of the College car park.
As the morning progressed the times tumbled and a battle between Dean Masterton, Garry Wetherick and Leon Chessell ensued. These three gentlemen were sharing a Suzuki Cappuccino and each driver was keen to be the fastest. At the beginning of run 5 the rain started falling and any chance of producing a faster lap time fell with it. In the end Leon proved to be the better drive and stood on the 3rd step of the podium, joined by Steve Wells in his newly acquired class 5 Sub zero who took the 2nd step. However, Chris Wilson was consistently the fastest around the College all day and claimed the top spot with an astonishing 1 and a half second lead spraying champagne supplied by our podium sponsor Young Plumbing.
Unfortunately we have had to cancel round 2 because of the weather conditions. As much as we would love to have an event in the snow, the steep roads leading into and out of Knighton will only cause issues.
Apologies and keep an eye on this site for an update
Plan ‘A’ is the hope that the snow will melt by mid afternoon and the AGM will happen as planned, however, if the Beast from the East returns, plans my change, please watch this space.
The Isle of Wight Car Club always try to run a non championship event before the season starts so that club members can get back into the groove and use it as a shake down for their cars.
The original plan was to organise a team style event, but in the end due to so many club members car sharing we oped to try out something we have always wanted to do – A start stop box.
The event ran as any normal event would, however, half way through the course, drivers would stop in a box very similar to the stop box, however, instead of breaking the beam to finish it would start an electronic timer that after 10 seconds would activate a green arrow indicating the driver may continue.
This tested drivers reaction times and provided much entertainment for the onlookers, but, the main reason for this stop box was effectively a feasibility study into how we could use this to slow cars down in a controlled manor and in doing so, allow the club to access other venues such as Ventnor Botanic Gardens. The conclusion? A success and thank you to Ryan Munt for creating such a great gizmo. You may see a start stop box in the 2018 calendar soon.
Despite this being a fun day, competitors were being competitive and pushing their cars and their driving skills to the limit. The curbs at the Isle of Wight college are very unforgiving and Mark Hill found this out the hard way when he drifted his Subaru Impreza sideways into a curb, bending a wheel and rear suspension in the process.
On a high point, the club are pleased to welcome many new members, almost all opting to take advantage of the PCA option and driving with a passenger.
With the top 3 positions being traded throughout the day, in the end Garry Wetherick stood on the 3rd step of the podium driving his Suzuki Cappuccino, John Barrett took 2nd in his Subaru Impreza and after a very shaky start Chris Wilson dominated the day in his class 5 special.
The Podium has a new sponsor with Dan Young Plumbing and presented each diver with a bottle of bubbly with a special sponsors label highlighting their finishing position. The three driver were so excited that they prematurely sprayed their bubbly all over each other before an official photo could be taken.
Lets hope they can control themselves at the up and coming AGM dinner and prize giving on Friday the 2nd of March.
The last Isle of Wight Car Club event of 2017 was a sealed surface event held at Fort Street Car park in Sandown.
This car park is a real Marmite venue. The fine covering of loose stones makes the first few runs similar to driving on marbles, however, once these have been swept away, the abrasive underlying surface will reward smooth driving and decimate the rubber of drivers who like to drive more aggressively and light up their tires.
Two very smooth drivers included Dave Goodwin driving his classic Mini and James Robbins in his Clio, both posted a very good identical time of 59:26 in round 1.
However, Barny Lower amazed everyone who watched by driving his huge BMW saloon sideways through every gate with pin point accuracy and posted the fastest first run of the day in a time of 58.69.
As the day progressed, times tumbled but many struggled to remember the course or pushed too hard and incurred penalties by striking cones.
The only unmodified car at this event was the MX5 driven by John Cooper and Wayne Hole, with Wayne stamping his authority over John by posting a time of 54:93 and placing him 12th overall.
Class 3 is for modified cars under 1300cc and there were 10 drivers in this class. The turbo Cappuccino of Garry Wetherick seemed not to suit this course and it was a long awaited return to the podium for Dave Goodwin in his classic Mini and placed 3rd over all at the day’s close and Marion Brett was the fastest lady of the day in her classic mini.
James Robbins was rewarded with 5th place over all for his smooth driving but the modified Subaru Imprezas that also live in class 4 have much more traction and power.
Class 5 is for cars that don’t fit into any of the other classes. Chris Wilson in his single seater special was struggling, however, he cannot be too disappointed as he did not only secure the sealed surface championship but also the the overall championship.
Steve Wells claimed the fastest class 5 place with a time of 51:38 and the second step of the podium.
The highlight of the day was with a very popular driver who is fairly new to the club and has also encouraged many new members to take part in this grass roots motor sport by inviting them to drive his own Subaru Impreza. Jon Barrett’s results have been constantly improving throughout the year and it was a fantastic conclusion to the 2017 season to see Jon stand on the top step of the podium at Fort Street with a winning time of 51:23.
It has also become a tradition to have a team prize at the final event of the year, where drivers’ names are randomly paired up with a fellow driver and the team with the fastest combined time of the day are awarded a prize. This year the team of Steve Wells and Toby Allen claimed the prize of free membership for the following year.
The club would like to thank everyone who helps make these events happen and in particular the land owners who allow us to partake in this fun accessible motor sport for the masses. This very successful and eventful season will be celebrated at the club’s AGM in the new year where trophies will be awarded. Keep an eye on the club’s website for more information, www.iowcc.co.uk.