What’s happening with the Isle of Wight Road Races? Will it be a ‘green race’?

No longer the Diamond Races, it’s looking increasingly unlikely that the Isle of Wight will see any racing next year - at least, not as we know it. 

Isle of Wight Diamond Races

What’s going on with the Isle of Wight Road Races and/or the Diamond Races? Will the island see any form of racing in 2022, or at least in the format we all know and love? 

First of all, all signs point to the TT-style format of the Diamond Races being called off entirely after much back-and-forth on dates and consultation, as per Manx Radio.

Taking its place, the Isle of Wight Road Races is a separate event with new aims and new dates, with two-time BTC Championship winner James Kaye leading the way as the event promoter amongst a seemingly smaller backroom team. 

Pencilled in to take place over 4-days between the 20th - 23rd of April 2022, the event appears to be due to run on the 12 mile ‘Chale’ course, with a paddock situated at Atherfield and main race day on Saturday (with Sunday in reserve as a rain day).

Public consultation is ongoing over 6 weeks (starting from the 1st August), and a blog post from the 23rd August on the IWRR site notes a ‘halfway point’ in talks has been reached - despite OnTheWight & IW Radio reporting that permits from the ACU and highways authority (represented by the local council) are yet to be applied for. 

It appears that a minimum of 6 months is required for further consultations to take place before an event, with the council’s Safety Advisory Group also yet to determine whether the event is safe for residents and visitors to the event. The current deadline is the 20th of October for the Motor Race Order, with the ACU permit required to be in place before this date. 

What’s more, UKClubSport quote island resident & promoter Kaye as saying “The Isle of Wight is an ideal location for us to pioneer the use of carbon-neutral fuels that are less harmful to our environment,”

“Our Biosphere status encourages us all to learn new ways in which we can live on our diverse and ecologically important island. The Isle of Wight Road Races will be at the forefront of promoting future energy technology.”

This doesn’t quite mean it’ll be an electric race, but quite possibly an alternative fuelled race (like the direction the MotoGP will be heading towards). This may appease the local council and permit planners, but would it detract from the event for fans?

In summary, the event is still up in the air, and given the ongoing consultations, there is plenty of work still to do (and hoops to jump through) before we can expect any form of two-wheeled adrenaline-fuelled racing to take place. 

Or, silent electric docile wheeling of bikes, as the case may be. We’ll keep an eye on the island for the time being, but it would be fantastic if there can be some racing in April of next year. 

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