Anyone with a full driving licence can compete at our events; all you need to do is turn up at 9am with a car and some enthusiasm. You will need a crash helmet, but the club has several you can borrow.

Your car doesn’t have to be road legal to compete at our events, but it does have to be safe – see the regulations page for details and if you’re not sure talk to us at an event or contact us with your questions. Be aware that certain tyres are excluded from our Autotest events – anything appearing on the current MSA Yearbook Section L tyre lists 1B or 1C cannot be used.

Forward-only Autotesting

Our events are focused on car control rather than outright speed – most courses will only ever require 1st gear and stay below 30mph, they usually last around 60 seconds. This makes our events very competitive with often the top 10 times spread over only 2/3 seconds, it also means you don’t need a purpose built car to be competitive – 90% of your time will be down to the skill of the driver rather than how fit for purpose the car is!

The courses are typically set out around orange cones, touch a cone and you receive a penalty added to your time. The end of the course is controlled by a stop box, this comprises of 4 cones; you have to enter the box but cannot pass it, if you do pass it you receive a time penalty.

There are 3 championships to compete in:

Unsealed surface (USS) – Typically grass fields and loose gravel surfaces – most people have dedicated cars stripped out with gravel tyres for these events, although there are still many people who successfully compete with their A-B cars on normal tyres.
Sealed Surface (SS) – Tarmac events and the most popular events where 70% of competitors use the same cars that drive them to work and back in the week.
Overall – Speaks for itself: a championship that combines the points from both USS and SS.

On The Day

The layout of the day goes like this.

08:30 – 09:30 – Drivers arrive and sign on for the event. Cars are scrutineered.
09:30 – 10:00 – Short safety briefing and walk of the course for all drivers.
10:00 – First car away.

Each competitor receives 6 timed runs, nobody starts their 2nd run until everyone has completed their 1s, and no one can start their 3rd run until everyone has completed their 2nd this format follows right up to your last run. The day usually goes onto around 3:30-4:30.

The Classes

There are 5 classes you can compete in.

Class 1 – Standard car up to 1400cc
Class 2 – Standard car above 1400cc
Class 3 – Modified car up to 1400cc
Class 4 – Modified car above 1400cc
Class 5 – “Specials” – these are car derived mobiles such as kit cars

What Does It Cost?

Membership is £25 for the season. You must be a member of the Isle Of Wight Car Club or an affiliated club to enter our events.

Event fees are £12 in advance (you can pay online through PayPal) or £14 on the day.

See the calendar page to check when and where our next event is. If you think it may be for you, come and say hello!

What is an Auto Test?

Cars run one at a time against the clock on a short course that lays emphasis on Driver skill, car handling and agility rather than speed or power. Speeds and hazards do not exceed those encountered in normal driving on the road. By avoiding the need for rescue units and medical crews the overall cost can be kept low.

All road cars may be suitable for the events, with classes separating competitors depending on the type of vehicle which is determined by engine size and whether it is modified.

The discipline is also very economical with officials, because the competitors marshal the course themselves.

The event is only open to both road-legal cars that are taxed, insured and MOT’d and Competition only vehicles, such as Grass-track specials. You need to be a member of the IOWCC and have a Full UK driving license in order to compete.

The test routes are marked by cones and you will incur penalties if you go wrong or hit the markers, but the main aim is to complete the test course smoothly and quickly – times are recorded breaking a light beam at the start and finish of the test and are recorded to 0.01 second accuracy.