Road racing is set to make its debut on the Isle of Wight in the form of the Diamond Race, which will take place on a 12.4 mile-long course in the south of the Island.
The road-race boasts a course through the picturesque villages of Chale, Kingston, Shorwell and Brighstone as well as a fast 5-mile coastal stretch along the military road, and will see two practice days on Wednesday and Thursday, followed by the time-trial feature races staged on a Saturday, with the exact event date being announced after the 2021 British Superbike calendar is published.
Planned to become a regular motorcycle race meeting and end-of-season celebration, the event will take place a week after the British Superbike season traditionally wraps up at the Brands Hatch circuit in Kent, welcoming Superbike, Supersport and lightweight machine categories along with a sidecar demonstration.
The Diamond Races has a world-leading team behind it, not only with huge names from the motorcycle road racing industry, but also boasting a globally-experienced business team with notable digital, technology and event management expertise to make the event possible, and working in close conjunction with the Isle of Wight council to host the event with full local support. Some of the key players include Gary Thompson MBE (Isle of Man TT Clerk of the Course), Steve Plater (past Isle of Man TT Senior winner and ex British Champion), Neil Tuxworth (ex-Honda Racing Manager) as well as James Kaye (ex-British Touring Car Championship driver and Diamond Races co-founder) and Matt Neal (three-time British Touring Car Champion and Honda UK ambassador).
The road surface is descried by organisers as ‘excellent’, but before the races can take place there are 2,500 white lines that need to be treated, 177 manhole covers will be coated for safety, 1,500 cats eyes will be removed, as well as a small number of telegraph poles as they are in the direct line of bikes on some of the challenging sections of the course. Walls will be protected, all road signage will be removed beforehand and returned after the event, as well as the cats eyes and telegraph poles.
Paul Sandford, CEO and Co-Founder of the Diamond Races, said: “As an Isle of Wight local resident, I am very excited to welcome motorsport fans from across the globe to this beautiful island, for what is sure to be an unforgettable weekend of racing action and entertainment for the whole family. The Diamond Races is the culmination of years of hard work, dedication and planning by the whole team, and we’re very lucky to have the best of the best involved with its setup. No stone is being left unturned in striving to deliver a spectacular event which we have every reason to believe will be a regular back-stop to the island’s tourist season and put the Isle of Wight on the international motorcycle road racing map.”