THE Isle of Wight’s scrapped Diamond Races have taken on a new name, new dates and new aims as chiefs finally broke silence this week.
Instead of a late run directly after the finish of next season’s Bennetts British Superbike Championship in October, the event will now be run in the spring of 2022 with a strong push on green initiatives.
Announced exactly 12 months ago and then-called the Diamond Races, the meeting has been rebranded as the Isle of Wight Road Races with what seems to be a slimmed-down organisational team.
While a host of both BSB and British Touring Car names were among those set to be involved last year, a new website reveals former BTCC ace and Island resident James Kaye as the sole boss of the event.
And chiefs insist there is no connection to the artist formerly known as the Diamond Races…
The website reveals: Isle of Wight Road Races is a different event, however it is dedicated to delivering a world class motorcycle road race here on the Island. James Kaye is the IWRR promoter and was also a founder of the Diamond Races project.
The pandemic put enormous pressure on even established live events and it inevitably took its toll on Diamond Races. It became obvious that it could not be delivered as originally conceived in October this year.
IWRR is slimmed down in terms of its digital potential, but still 100% focussed on delivering an elite motor racing event for the Isle of Wight. IWRR race organisation under the very experienced leadership of the ACU Events team that also oversees the world-famous Isle of Man TT Races.
There will be no fall off in the quality of riders and teams that we hope to attract and true fans of the sports should be as delighted as the many new fans that we hope to attract next year.
Instead of running in October as originally planned, the races will now run between April 20-23 2022 on the formerly-publicised Chale course, which spans 12 miles through the villages of Chale, Shorwell and Brighstone and utilises a long stretch of the Military Road, with a paddock based at Atherfield.
Wednesday to Friday are practice days with the main race set to be held on Saturday, with Sunday kept in reserve as a rain day.
“We felt it was sensible to wait until after national restrictions had been lifted in England before sharing this announcement, said event promoter Kaye. “We’ve had two false starts already due to the pandemic and we wanted to avoid further disappointment.”
A six week public consultation process will start from August 1 to explain the format, timings and impact of the event. A public meeting will be held on August 12 with more details to follow.
Along with what chiefs hope to be an ‘elite-level motorcycle racing spectacle that will attract many of the sport’s top riders and teams’, the IWRR is also set to be ‘a proving ground for sustainable biofuels’, although what form that will take is yet to be revealed.
“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,” Kaye added.
“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.”