Round 4 of the Isle of Wight Car Club’s Forward only Autotest season was held at Westridge Leisure Centre. The twisting course around islands and traffic cones proved a real driving challenge.
To help keep this grass roots motorsport as accessible and as cheap as possible the club runs 2 different classes for completely standard cars – basic road tyres, no upgraded brakes, no sports or decat exhausts – this may sound boring to some, however, the competition can be fierce.
Class 1 is for unmodified cars under 1400cc and Robin Perkins who was looking to challenge for the class win unfortunately clipped one of the unforgiving curbed islands damaging his rear wheel and putting him out of the event after run 3. Rob Highmore and Darren Phillips in their shared Ford KA were leading the field at the end of the day and it was Darren who delivered the fastest time, giving him the class 1 win.
Class 2 is for unmodified cars over 1400cc – Jacques Ridett and Steve Ridett had such a close battle driving their shared Toyota Corolla and for a standard car it has some get up and go and it was a joy to see them nail some of the challenging handbrake turns. Jacques earned the bracing rights as he was the fastest of the two by only 0.9 of a second.
Wayne Hole, also in class 2, is a very experienced and talented driver of his MX5. He struggled to improve on his time in the closing runs of the day, however, he took the class 2 win and claimed the 3rd step of the podium.
If you own or like to modify your car then the modified classes will be just your cup of tea – there are restrictions as the car must resemble a road legal car.
Class 3 is for modified cars under 1400cc and this is where you find the souped up hot hatches such as Micras, Fiestas, MGZRs, classic minis and the fantastic Citroen C1 of James Robbins.
Dave Goodwin in his classic mini and James traded fastest overall times throughout the day and James took the class and overall win by 0.08 seconds. This is making for an exciting battle as both Dave and James are on equal points in the class 3 championship.
Class 4 is for modified cars over 1400cc – one of the questions at the beginning of the day was what sort of car would be best suited to this course. Well ,the top 3 class 4 cars finished one behind the other with only 1 second between them all. Kevin Richardson in his front wheel drive MINI Cooper S finished 3rd in class, Jon Barrett finished 2nd in class in his all wheel drive Subaru Impreza but it was Dean Long in his rear wheel drive MX5 that took the class win. It is amazing that 3 completely different cars and different driving styles can produce such a close result.
If you want to compete in something extreme, then class 5 is home to heavily modified saloons, non-production cars and specials.
Robbie Cooper in his ex grass track classic mini put in a fantastic effort and finished in 13th place overall and the class 5 win.
Cathy True was using her rally mini and is getting more confident and is very excited to compete in the Island Stages on the 30th of September – Cathy was awarded the fastest lady of the day prize and finished 16th overall.
You can compete at one of our events from the age of 14 as part of the Jake Ellis Sunglasses Youth Championship – Joel Gilby was our fastest youth of the day and is no longer the apprentice and on his way to being the master as he finished in 10th place overall, an astonishing 16 places ahead of his father Boo Gilby.
Thank you to Pro-Tek for sponsoring the podium.
An amazing addition to the event was the inclusion of Wight Karting who are based at Westridge and provide Karting Action all year round whatever the weather – but what was on offer was a Kart Racing simulator for IOWCC club members to try and discover who was the fastest virtual racer. The queue to take part was a testament to how much fun it was and Wight Karting also presented medals to the fastest 3 drivers of the day.
Again the results were super close and it was a pleasure to see Jake Jarrold stand on the top step of the podium. Thank you so much to Wight Karting www.wightkarting.co.uk and we hope to collaborate again in the future.
There is going to be a summer break from the sealed surface events as the club takes advantage of the dry conditions to run their unsealed surface events.
If you would like more information about the different classes of cars or how to take part please head to our website www.iowcc.co.uk.