Roads: Isle of Wight Road Races postponed due to road closure issues

The Military Road stretch of the IoW Road Race course
The Military Road stretch of the IoW Road Race course
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The inaugural Isle of Wight Road Races event has been postponed due to “unresolved issues” with its Motor Race Order (MRO)

The MRO is the permission needed for the organisers to close public roads for motorsport and is essential for the event to go ahead. The event was originally supposed to take place on April 20-23.

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It’s been a difficult journey so far for organiser James Kaye (two-time British Touring Car champion), since the event was announced, with local residents showcasing their concerns last year.

“We have reluctantly accepted that the Isle of Wight Road Races now can’t go ahead on our planned dates this year,” Kaye said. “Our Motor Race Order application was submitted on time to the Isle of Wight Council on 19th October 2021, but has not yet been determined. We understand that there are some technical concerns, but this is out of our control and the clock has run down.”

In today’s statement it was said that the ACU, the body which issues the race permits that form part of a MRO application, confirmed that it issued all of the relevant paperwork, including the correct permit, as part of the Isle of Wight’s application. However, in response, the council said that “it is not yet satisfied that the application has been duly made in accordance with the relevant legislation.”

The statement continued: “The IWRR team will be looking firstly for ways to understand and resolve the problems which the Isle of Wight Council has highlighted before negotiating new dates within the international road racing calendar.

“It was expected that the Isle of Wight Road Races could bring in the region of £30m of direct investment to the Island with much of this income shared directly amongst local businesses.”

Unlike the time-trialled Diamond Races event being planned on the Isle of Wight, the Isle of Wight Road Races would see 15-rider mass grids, with a 12.4-mile course through Chale, Shorwell and Brighstone using a long stretch of the Military Road. The paddock would be based at Atherfield.

Gary Thompson MBE will oversee all track activities as Clerk of the Course – a role which he also held at the Isle of Man TT for several years.

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Josh Close

By Josh Close

Sports Reporter and fan of all things motorsport.