Torqueing Heads: Talking Motorbikes

Ep1 - road racing on the Isle of Wight (Diamond Races)

December 01, 2020 Michael Mann Season 1 Episode 1
Torqueing Heads: Talking Motorbikes
Ep1 - road racing on the Isle of Wight (Diamond Races)
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Road racing is coming to the Isle of Wight in 2021 with the inaugural  Diamond Races Trophy event planned for October of next year, so we talked to the organisers, former British Touring Car champion, James Kaye, the Isle of Man TT Clerk of the Course, Gary Thompson MBE, and TV host / 2 x TT winner, Steve Plater.

Enjoy 35minutes worth of conversation about how the races will be run, what the circuit is like, what the schedule looks like, who'll race and what issues they're up against.

Michael Mann: Hello, and welcome to the latest episode of our chat show, Torqueing Heads. I'm Michael Mann from Bennetts. And first of all, we have to say thank you to our sponsor for this episode; it's Shoei Helmets, UK. Thanks also to everybody who has watched or commented on the videos from the series so far. And if you have any ideas for forthcoming episodes, things we should chat about, who we should get on them, don't forget to let us know below.

All right, onto today's very exciting news. And if you're a fan of motorcycle racing, particularly road racing, then we've got something special for you. Because as of this morning, the plans for an Isle of Wight-based road racing extravaganza, known as the Diamond Races have been unveiled. It's a road racing festival that's due to take place in October of next year.

That's October, 2021. So 14 months from now, and it'll be on a rather fast looking 12.4 mile circuit in the South of the Island. So joining me today are three of the leading lights behind the project. Please welcome James Kaye, Gary Thompson  and Steve Plater. Gents, thank you for joining me. Welcome. I'll start by introducing you one by one and let you explain a little bit more about your role with the Diamond Races project.

So, first of all, well, if you grew up watching British Touring Cars in the nineties, noughties and Mr. James Kaye will be very recognisable.  James, so you live on the Isle of Wight now, but, 'co-founder', is that the right term? The co-founder the Diamond Races.

James Kaye: I had an idea originally to, to actually bring some motorsport to the Isle of Wight, because it hasn't got any, I've lived here 15 years and the Diamond Race is actually came about because we looked at Formula E, we looked at British Touring Cars, and it was myself, actually and Matt Neal who came up with this. Well, hang on a minute, it's an Island. there's lots of motorcyclists here then, you know, where are we missing something? And that is where I suppose the co-founder bit came in. Yeah. And that was quite awhile ago now I think 18 months ago, maybe.

Michael: There's always been plans circulating. I mean, people have already had ideas for, for road racing. I noticed when doing my research, there's something back in the seventies even, people want to do some road racing on the Isle of Wight...

James: ...and a long time before that as well in the thirties, between the two World Wars, people were looking at getting a TT-esque event on the Isle of Wight.

Michael: And you are, you a rider, do you ride? Or you're just a lover of all motorsport.

James: First and foremost, a lover of all motorsport. Yes, I have road bikes and enduro bikes. Which I love, but as I got older, the injuries were becoming, how do you put it? Well, they were huting anyway. When I was younger, they didn't seem to hurt as much. So now I've limited my motorsport on a bike to the odd enduro event and that's it.

Michael: Gary, Gary Thompson, MBE Clark of the Course you've had what, 10 years experience or something like that, haven't you now at the Isle of Man Classic TT, Manx Grand Prix and of course the TT. Is it "attention, pits, attention paddock", that's the phrase, isn't it? So, is this going to be, that's a kind of a familiar or a similar role for the Isle of Wight version of the TT is it?

Gary Thompson: That's right, yeah. Let's just say, I've been involved with them on TT now for 10 years as Clerk of the Course, 11 years in the appointments. Similar with the Classic TT and Manx Grand Prix. Very much I want to bring to the Diamond Trophy Races, what I've brought to the Isle of Man basically. Obviously, first and foremost, safety is of paramount importance and you know, for the, for all of the TT riders. And for the riders predominantly will be mostly the TT lads it'll be business as usual on the Isle of Wight as we've had on the Isle of Man for the last 10 years.

Michael: So you've been involved since day one, really?

Gary: Yes, absolutely. It was James, Matt who approached Neil Tuxworth. And then Neil rang me and asked if I'd go for a meeting with James and Matt, during which they gave me an outline of the idea. Then myself and Steve Neil went to have a look around. There's three courses basically. There's a bit of slight difference of opinion as to whether we go for the course we've got now - the Channel Course - or slightly shorter course, but certainly myself and Steve favoured the 12.4 mile Chale Course. It's it's the first kind of three quarters is quite technical, quite twisty but the last three or four miles, the Military Road. It's awesome. Absolutely awesome.

But in terms of, in terms of the event here, we want to set the lads off, you know, one by one by one, every 10 seconds, like we do at the TT. So it's a time trial, and the 12.4-mile course lends itself to that better than the Freshwater course that we also had, which was about eight mile.

Michael: The course was already designed, was it, when you showed up?

Gary: Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, it's a, it's a closed road. It's a closed public road circuit. so, the, the road surface already, you know, if we decided to race this weekend, the road surfaces are raceable already, fantastic road surface. What we've looked at is, and this is going to sound quite anal this, we've looked at, I'm giving the specifications to the Department of Transport and the Highways Agency. There's two and a half thousand centre white lines to be repainted with 7,150 cats eyes  to be, 77 man holes to be treated. Yeah, the course itself, incredibly fast. Certainly the latter part of it, but it's a good course. We've had James Hillier here already, James has had a look at it. I'm very, very impressed. Yeah, it's a good course.

Michael: I was just doing a Google street view version of the course. but I don't know where the start/finish line. Has that been determined yet?

Gary: Well, that's yet to be determined. It will be on the Military Road, there's certainly one area myself  and Steve favour, which we're just waiting confirmation to the spectacle of the finish line, there's one area on the course which we want to do.

Michael: Sure, and we've got Steve Plater with us as you mentioned. Steve, British Superstock champion, BSB race winner. Two time TT winner, TV, presenter, best smile in motor sport. How are you involved, mate?

Steve Plater: All good, thanks. Yeah, pretty good. I'm starting to get busy again luckily, so it's pretty good. And of course, with this new project, it's certainly taken up a lot of time.

Michael: How are you involved? Are you recruiting the racers? Are you giving your opinion? You've obviously been to the Isle of Wight, you've seen the track, the layout. Has that been your role?

Steve: Yeah, pretty much just, you know, as Gary mentioned it was Neil Tuxworth who gave me the call. Obviously I worked very closely with Neil in the past, you know, as a, as a rider in his very successful team. Wee've been traveling over there since I think December was the first visit working through, assisting Gary, realistically, you know, we kind of, first of all, we pinpointed our favourite circuit, you know, in the 12.4 mile Chale circuit you know, Gary and I's favourite as you mentioned, but of course, would it be in 12.4 miles it gives us the opportunity to get more riders out on the lap, of course, with it being a time trial start. So, it's a great track. The first sort of, two thirds, or probably less than that is very, very technical and will be quite hard to learn for any rider.

But then as soon as you turn left back on that military road, I think that's 4.9 miles long, the Military Road. You know, as soon as when Gary and I, when we sat in the car, looking around doing various work and reconnaissance, we just looked at each other and think , this is what it's all about. It really is.

Michael: There's some beautiful shots showing the, the clifftop isn't there, some of the drone footage has already been taken. It just, it looks pretty stunning from that view.

Steve: Beautiful. It really is. Yeah. Yeah.

Michael: And James, coming back to you, the  TT at the Isle of Man obviously brings in millions for the Isle of Man economy and, I guess from what you said earlier on about, proposals being, being discussed on the Isle of Wight for some time about motorsport events, I'm surprised it hasn't happened sooner. Is that the idea, is that the sort of the driving force to develop the economy of the Island?

James: This Island is about 125,000 live here. 60% of them are retirees or wanting to retire. And then you've got another 20, 25% of, up to 18 year olds. The rest would leave the Island or work on daily basis would work in Southampton, Portsmouth but the industry that's here is based around the tourism industry. So as a destination, you know, we are a holiday destination here and from the hotels to the bed and breakfast to the coffee shops to the ice cream parlours et cetera. You know, they're wanting what they want is more footfall on the Island and although we're only six miles from Southampton and within a stone's throw from Portsmouth, we've got to have something else to attract those people here.

One of our selling points to the council basically was, and is, that, you know, in the tourist season here on the Island, we want to bring as many people as we can here too provide as much revenue, all the Island as we possibly can. So we're not just looking at an isolated event, which is just, you know, in one area of the Island, we want everybody, you know, from the ferry companies to the bus companies to the hotels to everything.

So it was it, that was the big sell for us is it's not just about having an event here. It's about getting more people to the Island to see more of it, because then they'll go home, they'll say hang on a minute, you don't need to go to Cornwall, you don't need to go to Brighton or whatever. Just get on a ferry; Isle of Wight; that's where it's at.

Michael: And presumably the local council didn't need a great deal of persuasion?

James: Yeah. Well, you say that you've still, you've got because of the elderly population here and you've got, it's not just, the council that have got to be convinced. It's the parish councillors that are dealing with the residents on a daily basis.

It's, it's making sure that you cover all the aspects of health and safety of, you know, the, the road closure side of it is gonna be massive to the Island because these guys are used to nothing like this happening. They, they will have no idea actually. So the management and the communication within the local communities is our biggest task really.

Michael: So as yet, well, as of right now, I suppose, the local residents are going to find out about it and presumably they're going to be all cheering from the rooftops...

James: We hope so, we hope so. You know, at the end of the day, we've got an agreement with the council, which allows us to run this event, we can only educate the population as to the benefits that we will bring to the Island to their way of life, basically. And that, you know, that's where we're at.

Michael: What's the schedule look like, how much, how much road closure will there be?

Gary: What we're looking at Michael is, almost like a Northwest 200 set up really. So we'll have signing on, on the Monday and the Tuesday, first practice on the Wednesday or practice Wednesday and Thursday, rest day Friday, and then a full race day on the Saturday. But for the first year in particular, the first practice day, Wednesday. well, the first part of that will be a series of speed controlled laps. Obviously  every rider will be a newcomer so the important thing for the first practice is to give everybody time to settle down, get to learn, learn the course under speed control conditions. And then once we're satisfied that's been done, then open up to a normal practice session on the Wednesday afternoon/Thursday. As I say rest day Friday, you have full race day Saturday.

Michael: Cool, and how many races will there be?

Gary: We're looking at Superbike to superstock regulations, Supersport, Supertwin and that's it. So yeah, so there'll be two blocks, two blocks of races on Saturday morning. A block then break for lunch and another block in the afternoon. There'll also be sidecar demonstration laps for year one, and hopefully then being sidecars to the event in, in, from year two onwards.

Michael: And this is a long-term project, is it? It's not just a sign up for you one and see how it goes?

James: It is a long-term project, the only way that we could actually make it, for all of that to be concerned is that we, we asked the council for a 10 year deal and that's what they gave us. They've given us, you know, 10 years for it to, to keep on happening, shall we say. And that negotiable after.

Michael: Steve, how many superstars have you got lined up?

Steve: Well, in all fairness, it's not really my job, you know, of course I'll be speaking with them and some, some have already heard whispers and talking already, but you know, that's Neil Tuxworth will be be recruiting. You know, he's a flipping expert, that kind of thing and Neil is very switched on. We've got, kinda got most obviously angles, covered really.  And of course we got the best flipping Clerk of the Course in the world. And that got me there as a, as an ex rider, of course, working alongside advising Gary on a riders outlook of, of the course in various places on different aspects. Neil Tuxworth there, obviously as a, as a, very, very, experienced team manager.

And of course, plenty of other people as well from the racing game. So, you know, without doubt all the riders are going to be very, very keen to come and have a look. And as Gary said, James Hillier came over and James and I were riding round just at road speeds on, on road bikes. And he was absolutely blown away. He loved it when it was, it was actually a great feeling to have, another opinion from a rider and be so positive, straight away, as soon as he saw the place. As you're well aware, you know, all the small Irish road races, they're all struggling to a certain degree with, for various reasons, funding, insurance, and different things, you know, and the Ulster Grand Prix is in jeopardy at the moment.

I would say, of course nothing's happened this year, but yeah, there are rumours, something's going to happen next year, but nobody's really sure about its future. So we need more road races. And of course there's no better place really than in the South of England where nobody else really races, you know, road racing, especially.

And it's very accessible, not just for us guys over the water, but also central Europe.

Michael: Yeah, of course, makes it very accessible. So you've got, you've already mentioned several of the names there, you've got quite a, quite an organising team, or kind of coming together, like the Power Rangers, aren't you all sort of merging together?!

James, were you and Matt kind of responsible for, for, for getting all the top people altogether?

James: Well, no, actually, Matt brought in the initial, as, as Gary just alluded to, we've all seen, Gary and Neil too, with our initial meeting, I'd already started with, with Paul Sandford. We started going down the route with the council and looking at all the various different motorsports events that we could go could get involved in here. So at that point then I knew that we had the right people with Gary on board, Neil. Matt obviously knew them anyway, then Steve came on board. We, we, from there Paul Sandford has then brought in some pretty heavy organisation thing, sort of people marketing to our, you know, our actual organisation skills, our rider liaison, to Clerk of the Course in Gary, et cetera, we are, you know, I don't think that you would actually find a better team.

Michael: No, I tend to agree. So you've got all the right people to, to cover all those bases. Gary, you talked about the circuit already. Has it been in place for a long time, that design, that the particular use of those roads and in that direction?

Gary: Well, we, as I say, we looked at three separate circuits, and certainly the Chale Course lended itself better to, to have more riders, with it never having been raced on before, what we wanted to make sure is that we had, we had a, a decent grid, so to speak. We had a decent grid of, of riders but also, yeah, from my point of view, to be able to get the start line clear before the first man comes back around. So that's the reason we went for the 12.4 mile course. But as Steve said, you know, the, the, the first three quarters is, is very technical, very twisty, some, some fast parts on that first bit as well, but very technical, but that last four-four and a half miles, you know, the Military Road, God it it's you know. I, I mean, I ride bikes. I ride, I ride motorbikes alot but never raced one, but I can't, I can, I can't think of any other road circuit, you know, even the TT and I think even the Military Road will probably be as fast as if not faster than Sulby Straight. it'll probably be faster than the Dundrod 150 circuit.

It's it's going to be immense. It's a, it's a, it's a fantastic circuit. And you know, one of the things we do want to do well, you know, apart from put on a fantastic road, race is also get across to,  the, obviously with the Military Road being what it is, some riders will go across on a, on a Sunday morning and bomb up and down the Military Road, and, you know, part of the event is to put across a ride safety campaign, you know, because, you know, unfortunately some riders do go across they try to emulate the heroes, you know they have accidents. So we, apart from putting on a road race we are also trying to put across the, the ride safety campaign as well, but, you know, going back to the course, it is as Steve said it's a fantastic course, already race-able from a road surface point of view, and all we're doing now is through the risk assessment is making sure that we've got all the course protection in place, marshall points are in place, prohibited restricted areas to minimise spectators standing in areas of high risk. You know, the, the normal sort of thing we do on the Isle of Man.

Michael: Steve, you talked about the course already. You've ridden it and presumably you've driven it too. How do you, how do you describe the, the sort of individual sections? Like the TT, it's fairly, it's got its own iconic sections, hasn't it in terms of the mountain and, and, and going through Kirk Michael and places like that. But is it very similar over at the Isle of Wight?

Steve: No, it is quite different in all fairness. The first, yeah, the first part of the course starting off in a place called Chale, you know, it's a very technical, quiet, quiet, blind approaches to many areas, it's, it's the same with anywhere, you never get a true sense until you can actually close the roads and ride around there, on a proper line. So some curves in terms of course will disappear, but it, I mean, it's still fast. So of, coming forth gear and a lot of places on the technical side, but obviously a lot of blind crests and different sections, quite an undulated, the road surface is incredibly good.

For instance, I rode down there last week on a Honda Fireblade kindly lent me by Honda and, I was flipping, I had to sharpen my teeth by the time I got down Southampton, because the roads are that bad over here. And as soon as you get on the Isle of Wight flipping, the roads are so good. They've got a fabulous budget over there and they really do keep things tip-top, they really do. So there's no potholes, there's no lines in the road, there's no aggravation.

There's no bad surfacing, it really is incredible the road surface. So we're very, very lucky.
But to finish answering the question, you know, it will take a lot learning as I've said, you know, it does, it does come to you, you run through quite a lot of built-up areas, a lot of, quite a few trees, bushes overhanging the road. There's one section in particular. That's a little bit like, the last part of the TT, obviously down in the dip, a little bit dump and kind of, so we'll probably end up having to cut some bushes and trees down to get some, a bit of sunlight in there and, and some wind to dry the road if there is any issues

Gary: Thats, er, Kingston by Kingston Farm.

Steve: That's right. Yeah. But, but it's, but it's great. It really is. You know, is it, I can't emphasise enough when you asked, was this the longterm project? Everybody is an absolute newcomer for year one. We'll still be learning a terrific amount in year two, let alone year one. That's as far as the marshals go, as well as the riders, you know, everybody involved with their events. So it is really a, a long-term project that we're all aiming at to be, you know, very successful.
We're lucky with having all these names, as you've mentioned over there, you know, overseeing and looking at the course as well to give their own opinions. We've, obviously there's TT experience  with Gary, we've had Mervyn White over as well from the Northwest 200 for his advice on everything, helping along, you know, looking around the circuit as well as various other avenues that we need to kind of oversee before we get the event going. So, yeah, it's really positive, you know, honestly, mate, have you been to the isle of Wight, Michael?

Michael: Never. Never been.

Steve: No. When I had them before my first visit in December. So it's kind of a lovely, lovely eye -opener, it's such a beautiful place. I'm not just, that's not a sales pitch. It really, really is, there's plenty to come and see there apart from racing. There really is. And there, and so flipping easy to get to, you know, it's only just either jump on the foot ferry or, or bring your vehicle over, it really is and I think it'll attract a lot of people ,it's somewhere different of course, as well and like I said earlier in the South of England, so it's going to be great.

Michael: We'll have to start organising the road tests over there I think over the next 14 months or so...

Steve: As far as I'm aware there's been plenty on that Military Road before, James will tell you better. It's quiet. It's so iconic, such a picturesque, you know, with all, some big white cliffs down there. It's beautiful, it really is.

Michael: Steve, you mentioned about a built-up areas, does that mean that there's going to be plenty of opportunity for spectators to sit in, presumably grandstands will be bought in, and spectator entertainment and keeping everyone happy and fed and watered and, in touch with, I dunno, timing, timing, screens, radios on and so on? Presumably that's all in then the plans as well?

Steve: Of course, there's a mix for all sorts. Now, of course, like we've mentioned here, we're going to be building this event over the years, of course. So for year one, I'm not exactly sure what there'll be. Of course there'll be grandstands, you know, in key areas. There'll also be the hardcore places to go and view, the, the, where people want to go and look over a hedge or, or through a hedge even, you know, there will be some restricted areas, of course, that we've identified already, but, yeah, I mean the Military Road is where Gary's already mentioned we would like, we know exactly what we want to start/finish, but it's, it's got to be, ticked off and passed away. it's a great spectacle where we want the finish line. It really is. The bikes will be flat out over a hill top, you know, covering the back brake and in front of a massive hospitality with big TV screens in the paddock and plenty of things going on, you know, Paul Sandford that James mentioned already, he's flat out behind the scenes. A very, very busy man. You know, kind of trying to put together with these teams as well of helpers to get little villages on the go for entertainment to keep everybody happy. And of course, we're trying to obviously spread this revenue around the Island that all these spectators and fans are going to bring over.

Michael: James, Gary, what happens next, is there a particular schedule between now and October of next year, in terms of preparation and getting, I dunno, ACU sanctioning, is that all in, in process?

Gary: Yeah. I mean, what happens now is I'm, I'm in the process now of, drawing up some regulations, the risk assessment is done that, that's done, that's now with the Highways Agency and that's, that's gone into quite a lot of detail, which I outlined earlier, even down to the number of cats eyes and centre white lines and all that sort of thing. So that's, that's, that's done, but it's a live document so we kind of be continuing continually updating that as we go along.

There's the event safety plan, which, which for a closed, you know, closed public road circuit is massive. So that needs to be done, there's obviously the supplementary regulations. The practice and race day schedule is pretty much, you know, apart, apart from the minute by minute, the actual outlined schedule schedule is, is, is done.

We're hoping to have the regulations, out to all the competitors and everything by, by October, so, and technical technical specs, or, you know, pretty much along the same lines as what we have at the TT, really, to be honest. So not a great deal of change there. But, you know, my, you know, my own personal emphasis is to be working closely with the highways agency to make sure that's, you know, all the, all the road works is done, all that white lines are treated, et cetera, et cetera. And, and Steve's been in touch with, with moving to, you know, get all the course protection across from on the Northwest so we can, you know, get all that in place before the event starts next October. We're looking at probably, you know, putting that in place about, to start putting that in place two or three weeks before the, before the event, obviously. The good thing about the Chale Course as well, that in a number of places, there is a lot of natural protection, you know, there's high hedges and everything. So, you know, although it's 12.4 miles and as Steve says, the Military Road is 4.9 miles long, there's there's not a great deal of protection needed along the Military Road because it's so it's so wide open. But, yeah, we've identified the areas that need course protection and as I say, all, that's all that's coming across from the Northwest.

Steve: I think, you know, as far as the Isle of Wight's concerned, just to, I mean, James tipped on it earlier, I can't believe the following motorcycles have in the Isle of Wight, there's a massive presence there, you know, you know, we've already, Gary's already spoken about obviously, down the Military Road, they treat that like a drag course, on a flipping weekend and we're trying to steer the cars away from that, obviously. But that's just your locals having fun, but, you know, I'll pop into, when we've been doing some laps around the course and we'll pop into the garage and they flipping recognise who you are straight away and they're chomping at the bit, and," what you do in here?", and that's, that's bar staff in  the hotel to garage owners to various people you see around the island. It's like being in Northern Ireland or the Isle of Man, that's how it feels to me. There's a massive following for motorcycles, which is great for the island, because of course we need to work with the locals obviously to bring this event and also bring them the revenue that, this event will attract.

James: Just to give you some insight; so we've got, we've got a 10 year deal in place. We've got a commercial package that we're putting together at the moment, which will bring in some, not just some, existing names within motorsport, be it bike or car, but some new names as well. So what we're we're actually about actually is also is bringing motorsport a bit more, digitally, digitally available. And that's a very important thing. So when you, when we mentioned earlier about, with what are we going to do, what's the next thing? In the middle of designing an app so that when you actually buy a ticket for this event, you have actually, you've got an app. So you will know from your app, all the lead-up, all the events that we're going to organise up until the first day when a bike hits the circuit, you know, interviews with everybody. And then once we actually go live at the circuit, we're going to, that app will be, it'll tell you where to buy the best burger, where the best hotels are, what other entertainment is happening all the time on the Island. And then again from that, you'll be able to subscribe and be involved actually with, you know, what's going on from a rider's perspective and you know, what, you know, videos of the course, there's going to be so many parts of that app to bring it into a real digital, undertaking. So actually, you won't need to, in some cases, this will be, you know, people who can't get to the Island to see you the first year, will be able to see it live they'll subscribe and see that live through an app. They'll be really involved, so that you know that that's going to take you a lot of time bringing all that information in together. And then we've got the other things we're involved with at the moment, which are to get here you've got to get here on a ferry. Yeah. There's no, there's an airport here, but you know, that's just helicopters and small light planes. There's no commercial airport here. So it's ferries all the way. There's three main providers of transport to the Island. And, you know, we, we got them now to be partners in what we're doing because without their support, if we want to bring a hundred thousand people here and without their support, you know, they've got to be fully involved with every aspect from now until next October. So bringing all those things from the landowners, because this goes through lots of farmland, all those farmers, they're all going to have to subscribe to what we're doing as well. And of course, the end of the day money will talk and we've, we've got to have the right commercial package in place to ensure that the farmers are happy.

The, the Island, the population around the circuit living here in the cottages, et cetera. You know, they see the economic benefit. The parish councils, we, you know, we've been asked to get involved in lots of projects, existing projects to do with the parish council, you know, from making sure that the bikers that are coming that they're educated properly so that they respect the, the noise that they make at the residents with the noise they make and the speeds that they're doing and be a lot more organised and safe. there's, there's so many aspects of what we're doing. You know, the accommodation; there's 44,000 beds on this Island, we're talking about a shoulder season here where there's going to be quite a few of those beds already taken already booked now is what's going on with people wanting to be on holiday, in the UK in 2021 rather than going abroad. So we've got to ensure that if we've got a hundred thousand people coming here, there's somewhere for them to stay; campsites, motor home parks, bed and breakfast, Airbnb, et cetera, et cetera, you know? All those aspects of very important to making sure this event in its first year is, you know, tip top.

Michael: It sounds like he's going to take over the Island, which sounds very exciting. What about television coverage? Have you spoken to any broadcasters yet?

James: We, we have, yes, we have spoken to all the usual culprits, but we'll what we are, suspects, whatever you want to call them, but at the moment we need to be, we need to have got every part of what we're doing in line, because you can't go to a TV station or, you know, an internet based TV company without a hundred percent details on everything that you're doing. So yes we have, but we haven't gone anywhere.

Michael: You've got a bit of a time yet. Yep. Great stuff. All right. Well, we've only got 14 months to go, I guess. I've got to go and get my camping...

James: ...that'll go very quick at the moment

Michael: I'll bet all the hotel rooms will be snapped up by now as well.

James: Well, that's what I've been doing all day; booking hotels. No, I'm joking!

Michael: And starting a hire car company!

Steve: 44,00 beds, you want to see the size of James's place, half of them are at his house?

James: That's for all my kids.

Michael: Great stuff, on that note. Thank you, all three of you, Gary, Steve, James. Thank you very much for joining me. Thanks everyone for watching and thanks also to Shoei Helmets UK for sponsoring us. Until next time, be good. 

James Kaye introduction
Diamond Races idea
Gary Thompson introduction
What sort of racing event is it?
Steve Plater introduction
What's the circuit like?
What does it mean for the Isle of Wight?
Did the local council need persuading?
What's the race schedule?
Ride safe campaign
What else needs doing before day one?
The App
Will it be televised?