Mon. May 16th, 2022

Isle of Wight Observer News

The Island's Free Newspaper

VECTIS VIEW: John Peck, Sandown Sprint track builder

3 min read

With excitement building, as the first Isle of Wight Sprint moves towards reality after years of setbacks, I am looking forward to actively contributing and taking part in the weekend to help create an event that will, hopefully, become an annual Island tradition. Along with many others, I am thrilled that a major motor event is being established on the Isle of Wight and have thrown my full support behind it.

I will be using the expertise built up from owning and managing a successful Island-based company, John Peck Construction in Rookley, to help make the event happen. To enable the Sprint track to be built in the short time-frame available, I offered the services of my company, including machinery, manpower and skill-base to create and construct the track and the start- and finish-line gantries. The track is being built using hay bales which will be collected from across the Island and transported to the event with the use of our fleet and the help of a few friends.

From there, other volunteers and I will lay out the course by reference to the map, using our inhouse plant and manpower. We will be constructing the start- and finish-line gantries off-site in the lead up to the weekend and they will be brought to the site and constructed to create visually effective start- and finish-points for the race. Just in case you’re wondering, the work is being undertaken voluntarily, the reward is the chance to make the event a major success for future generations of the Island to enjoy.

My company and employees have an impressive track record of offering our services to projects that contribute positively to the local Island community. We actively seek to employ local workers and continually outsource other elements of work packages to other local companies, helping to support the local economy. In recent years, we have contributed to many community projects, including at the Wildheart Sanctuary, Wessex Cancer Trust and Newchurch Cricket Club, alongside sponsoring local grassroot clubs. The Sandown Sprint is another event we are backing to ensure future generations can enjoy it and help it grow into an integral part of Island life.

It’s not only me; many of my team are keen car enthusiasts and are eager to see the Sprint become the really successful event it can be. Motoring across all levels is a key focal point across the construction industry. The sport, like many others, plays a key role. It can open up conversations and people with similar interests often finish meetings with a walk around to the garage to eye up the cars and other toys.

On a personal level, I am thrilled to be competing alongside my son, Dan. Whilst I have competed in motor sports across the country over many years, this will be the first time Dan has competed in a sprint. After so many years of watching me, Dan felt it was about time he beat me across the finishing line. We shall see!

We will both be driving vehicles that have been a labour of love over the last seven years. My vehicle, a Ford Escort Cosworth, was the first vehicle to enter our yard where it was stripped back to a bare shell and transformed into what it now is. As the Cosworth was reaching the final stages of its restoration, I felt it needed a companion. This is when a Mitsubishi Evo 5 entered the workshop and benefitted from the same loving treatment the Cosworth received. Dan is looking forward to driving it, hopefully to victory, in this historic event.