Rallying welcomed back to the Island

By IW Observer.co.uk Jun 17, 2022
Mike Davidson and Terry Weaver in their Ford Escort Mk1 in the early 60s pic: IWCC

The Isle of Wight Car Club (IWCC) and sponsors, Rally Replay, are bringing back rallying to the Island, more than 30 years after it disappeared.

On Sunday, August 21, the Island stages event will be held at Palmers Farm in Wootton, in memory of long-standing IWCC member, Jon Dyer, who died recently. Drivers will tackle challenging grass and gravel tracks weaving through woodland and grassland, competing over six stages, totalling around 32 miles. The event will provide the rare opportunity to tackle stages which have never been driven before, and the club has ambitious plans for the future of the event and hope to recreate the clubman spirit of the original Island stages rally.

Richard Weaver and James Pink compete at Bovington earlier this year

Although in this inaugural year, the event will not be open to spectators; it will be live streamed so that car and rally junkies can share in the excitement. It is hoped that spectators will be accommodated in future years.

Richard Weaver, of Bembridge, who with his co-driver, James Pink, rallies in his Mitsubishi Evo 6 in events across the country, and whose family has been involved with the sport for many years, is excited about the development. He said that April’s Sandown Sprint shows an appetite for motorsport on the Island which can be built on: “This event could be a stepping-stone to an expanded rally in the future. The most important thing is to ensure the first event is run safely and efficiently. We want to make club motorsport accessible to all but, for our first rally in many years, taking a careful approach will improve our chance in achieving a sustainable means for doing so.

“There can be no doubt that competing in local motorsport is the safest and most satisfying way to enjoy motoring in the modern world. Many people, these days, modify their cars for a variety of reasons, but preparing a car for motorsport provides a specific purpose and framework for doing so, with a particular end result in mind.”

Looking back at the history of motorsport on the Island he said that the return of rallying means a great deal to him personally. He added: “It’s important for the family connection and general love of the sport. I remember, as a child, going to all sorts of IWCC events and I was definitely mad for motorsport, cars and rallying from my earliest memory.”

Entries for the rally open on Sunday (June 19) and will close on July 24. More information can be found at iowcc.co.uk/rally. Anyone interested in marshalling should email Tony Cole on iwccmarshals@btinternet.com for more information.