The Isle of Wight Car Club held their 5th round of their forward only autotest championship within a heat wave that has so far dominated the summer of 2018.
BAE Northwood hosted this round and its huge open car park is a favourite amongst club members. The course was a simple double lap of the car park incorporating tight chicanes and 180 turns. However simple it may have been the hot weather played havoc with cars and drivers alike.
The only un modified cars competing were in class 2. This consisted of MX5’s, a Suzuki Ignis and a wonderful Austin Healy driven by Gerald Wilby. But it was John Cooper and Wayne Hole who battled for class honours in their shared MX5. Wayne not only won this class but finished 8th place overall.
With no class 3 cars, all modified saloon cars were in class 4 and this time there were 7 drivers vying for this title.
New member Will Mellon campaigned his nicely prepared MX5 and took advantage of the clubs PCA rule allowing him to have a passenger. Toby Allan kindly volunteered to sit in with Will and guide him around the course and invited him to sit beside him in his own MX5 during his runs.
The new PCA rule can only help with the confidence of new and experienced members alike, so if you would like to try this at a future venue just ask at race control during sign on.
Mather Price piloted his highly modified MX5, clad with aero dynamic aids into the top position in class and finished 5th place over all.
Class 5 was a 50/50 split of single seater ex autograss specials and two-seater Locost style sports cars.
Championship leader Chris Wilson had his sealed surface championship lead reduced to 10 points after his special had electrical issues forcing him to retire.
Andy Williams, as hard as he tried, could not catch Steve wells in his Sub Zero and had to settle for 3rd place overall, however, Steve was kind (foolish) enough to let Mr S drive his car for the day. Despite Mr S having his hand in plaster he humiliated Steve by out performing him in his own car and took the top step of the podium.
Thank you very much to Young Plumbing who sponsors the podium and supplies our winners with champagne
The next event is an unsealed surface event and we have been invited back to Cheverton Chalk Pit on the 15th of July. This is an event not to miss
Round 2 and the first unsealed surface event of the Isle of Wight Car Club calendar back in March was cancelled due to heavy snow brought on by the ‘Beast from the East’, however, on Sunday this round was re-run and in very different weather conditions.
11 drivers competed under a clear blue sky with glorious sunshine at Knighton sand pit.
As usual at this venue, the first few runs are always driven with caution as the track is covered in small marble like stones or soft sand and with large rocks and heavy machinery lining the track an off could end a competitor’s day.
But as the sun crossed the sky, the stones were brushed away, ruts appeared in the sand, traction was increased and with this times started to tumble.
With no drivers in class 1, it was left to father and son duo Barry and Kevin Richardson to battle it out in the unmodified class in their shared Suzuki Ignis Sport. They were also the only ones who took advantage of the PCA rule allowing them to swap between being a driver and a passenger throughout the day. This is a great way to learn the course and receive advice or encouragement as you drive. If you wish to have or be a passenger, see our website for more details or ask at a future event.
In the other classes of 4 and 5 it was a 50 / 50 split between front wheel drive cars and all-wheel drive cars. The more powerful AWD cars did not have it all their way as the smaller FWD cars were lighter and more nimble and these very different types of cars were trading places all day.
In particular the battle between Jo Moore in his AWD Subaru Impreza and Dan Young in his classic mini became very competitive. In the final stages it looked like either one of these two was guaranteed a place on the 3rd step of the podium. In round 6 Dan Young looked as if he was going to kick Jo off that step with a blistering lap, however, with so much dust being kicked up by his spinning tyres he lost sight of the track and beached his mini on a pile of sand handing Jo 3rd place.
The remaining 2nd and 1st steps were destined for either birthday boy Andy Williams or reigning champion Chris Wilson in their single seater specials and it was the latter who dominated all day, so much so that he did not even have to compete in the final 6th run and opted to let Josh Finch drive his car instead.
The podium celebrations proved to be very entertaining as Jo Moore regretted winning 3rd place knowing he might get wet from the champagne sprayed on the podium. In a last ditch effort to protect himself he donned a set of marshals water proofs, but this only made him more of a target and had he to bear the full force of the celebratory bucks fizz sprayed by Andy and Chris.
We would like to thank Dan Young of Young Plumbing for sponsoring the podium and supplying the champagne.
The next round is also a unsealed surface event at a brand new venue. Cheverton Chalk Pit. Apparently this chalk venue is smooth and suitable for road cars. See the club website for more details.
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.