Mon. May 16th, 2022

Isle of Wight Observer News

The Island's Free Newspaper

SANDOWN SPRINT: Fun or competitive – it’s your choice!

3 min read

A law change in 2017 permits a local highways authority to suspend the Road Traffic Act and allow motor racing on closed public roads. The Island has taken advantage of this opportunity, and marketing company, Solent, has teamed up with the Isle of Wight Car Club to organise the Island Car Centre Sandown Sprint. It will be the first speed event on the Island’s roads for many years, and one of the first in the UK.

Pandemic restrictions forced the 2020 and 2021 events to be postponed, and the Sandown Sprint will now take place over the weekend of April 2/3. A full entry of 100 competition cars has been entered in the first Sprint which will be staged on a specially constructed track at Culver Parade. John Peck Construction is building the 700m (765 yd) track, with input from other Island businesses including Reynolds and Read, Crown Park and AMP Hire.

The Sandown Sprint has been sponsored by the Island Car Centre, with Wightlink Ferries as its travel partner. Will Nicholls, owner of the Island Car Centre in Rookley, is no stranger to motor racing; he has been a successful competition driver for many years and will be driving his M-Sport prepared Ford Fiesta RS. Will said: “This is an exciting new initiative for the Island. As the Island’s largest dealer of quality used cars we’re delighted to be supporting the event.”

Two-time world rally champion, Miki Biasion, will be driving a Group A Lancia Delta Integrale 16V, an exact replica of his 1989 Sanremo winning car, which has been restored by car experts Rally Replay, in collaboration with Biasion.
General manager of Rally Replay, Adam Midghall, said: “It’s a great pleasure to bring a two-time world rally champion to the Sandown Sprint and to show what made Biasion and the Lancia Delta Integrale so iconic and unbeatable.”

The motor racing is being organised and promoted by the Isle of Wight Car Club, which is also the Motorsport UK organising club. Club chairman, Malcolm Smith, said: “We’re indebted to our members, and colleagues from other motor clubs, for the hard work that has been undertaken to deliver this first event.”

Event promoter, Tim Addison, said: “Welcoming Miki Biasion to the Sprint is a real treat, but we have an amazing entry of cars to keep him company. Classic cars represented include MG, Jaguar, Morgan and Austin Healey, which will be mixing it with more contemporary models from Lotus, Porsche and Alfa Romeo. Rally enthusiasts will be delighted that Miki’s Lancia will be competing with cars from Subaru, Mitsubishi, Audi and Ford.

“We’d like to thank everyone for their patience and support, especially the Isle of Wight Council, Island Roads and the spectators who first bought tickets in 2019.”

The Sandown Sprint sold out in 2020; however, due to changes in the track layout, there’s a limited amount of additional tickets available. They can be purchased online at isleofwightspeedtrials.co.uk/tickets.

Full details of the Island Car Centre Sandown Sprint can be found online at isleofwightspeedtrials.co.uk.