The Isle of Man Four Wheel Drive Club’s Steam Packet Company Trial series will return in 2017, with the first round scheduled for 26th February at South Barrule Quarry.


The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company has confirmed its long-running sponsorship will continue this year as the club prepares to welcome even more visiting off-road enthusiasts in the coming months.


Throughout 2017 the club will hold a series of trials around the Island for off-road vehicles, with drivers competing for victory in classes for short, medium and long wheelbase vehicles. A round typically consists of negotiating a vehicle between eight pairs of cane gates on various types of terrain with the aim of not hitting the canes. It is a test of the driver’s skill and depending on the type of terrain the strength of the vehicle.


While most Trial series competitors are Island-based, the club has confirmed several off-Island clubs and drivers are planning to visit this year.


The Red Rose Land Rover Club has confirmed a return trip in October and the J33P Club is hoping to travel over in May. Rounds of the Trial series and other club events are also open to visiting drivers, which may attract competitors from off-Island to test themselves against the Manx terrain in organised contests.


Members of the Isle of Man Four Wheel Drive Club, which was formed in 1989, pride themselves on being responsible when they off-road and treat the environment with respect. The club was instrumental in the creation of the Green Lane Users’ Group (GLUG) and members are involved in inspecting and carrying out maintenance and repairs to the Island’s extensive network of legal green lanes.


Richard Crane, from the club, said: ‘We are looking forward to another great year, with the Trials series once again the backbone of our calendar. The Steam Packet Company has been a long-time supporter of the club and we are delighted the partnership will continue in 2017.


‘Our events and the Island’s terrain do attract off-Island drivers, and we have many clubs which have already confirmed trips or are planning to visit the Isle of Man this year. They want to take part in carefully organised events which treat the landscape sensitively and allow them to enjoy the stunning Manx scenery, the warm welcome and the challenging designated off-road routes. We look forward to seeing the visitor numbers continue to grow.’


Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward added: ‘The Isle of Man Four Wheel Drive Club has an established reputation for organising well-run and responsible events and we are pleased to continue our sponsorship of the Trial series.


‘The club’s busy calendar of events attracts local drivers and visitors to the Island, and a number of trips from off-Island drivers are already confirmed for 2017. The provision of popular and properly organised off-road events which bring people to the Isle of Man from across the UK is a benefit to the local community, and something we are happy to support.’