Round 2 of the Darley Moor Motorcycle Road Race Club Championship, held on Bank Holiday Monday provided racers with some very challenging conditions. The circuit, near Ashbourne, DE6 2ET, was dry when the racing got underway, but then a cloud burst at lunchtime changed conditions dramatically. However, it certainly didn’t dampen the action on track, with 6 races being decided by less than 1sec at the flag.
The meeting also saw the first trophy of the season being presented, with the culmination of the Curtis Milner Trophy, in memory of a young Darley Moor racer who lost his life in a road accident, going to the overall winner of the second Formula 600 races in Rounds 1 and 2. In the first race, just counting towards the season’s championship, Jamie Hodson led away from the line with Steven Procter 2nd and Brad Vicars 3rd after the first lap. The second lap saw Vicars move into 2nd and set about closing the gap to Hodson, eventually taking the lead on the 5th lap and holding on to take the win by just 0.6sec. The all-important second race saw Hodson make another quick start, but behind him the Vicars/Procter battle had the tables turned, Vicars ahead after the first lap, but Proctor edged past on the second lap. This time though Hodson was determined not to get caught and held the advantage until the race was red-flagged on the 4th lap giving Hodson the victory by just 0.3sec and following his victory at Round 1, the Curtis Milner Trophy.
With John Ingram using this meeting to prepare his bike for an attack on the road circuits of Ireland and the Isle of Man the regular Peak Cup and Open Solo riders had a very quick rider to help increase their own pace. Carl Morris was the rider who came closest to challenging Ingram, although with Ingram not collecting any Championship points, it helped Morris to the head of both championships. In the shortened first Peak Cup race Morris had led from the flag whilst Ingram made up from a slower start, but just managed to pass Morris before an incident caused the red flags to come out and stop the race, giving Ingram the win by just 0.59sec. Behind this pairing Jamie Hodson came out on top of another battle with Steven Procter on their 600cc machines. In the second race it was Procter who was quickest off the line, holding onto the lead for the first lap until Morris took over at the head of the field, for the next lap, then Ingram found a way past on the third lap. Behind these Jim Hodson was making up for a slow start, 7th on the first lap, 5th on Lap 2 and 3rd place on Lap 3, but despite posting quicker times he could only close the gap to Morris, but was never close enough to challenge for 2nd place. Again Jamie Hodson was the first 600 machine home, this time it was Brad Vicars who was closing him down, but ran out of laps with which to make a pass.
The first Open Solo race saw Ingram show his prowess in the wet, taking a flag to flag victory, with Morris again the closest rider to him. The second race was held on a drying track and Morris held the lead for the first two laps until Ingram found a way past on the third and stretched out a smaller winning margin on this occasion.
In the combined Sound of Thunder, Mini Sound of Thunder and Lightweight races there were a number of new names taking the honours. In the first race Jay Bellars-Smith completed a flag to flag victory ahead of Jamie Horner on their Sound of Thunder machines. In the second race Horner led for the opening three laps until Bellars-Smith squeezed by and recorded his second victory. In both races Adam Child, after circulating inside the top 5 Overall, took the victory in the Mini Sound of Thunder class. The Lightweight class saw Chris Moore take the first race victory after overcoming a slow start and taking the class lead on Lap 4 of 6. With Moore not coming to the line for the second race Nick Gilman was able to take advantage and also took the lead on Lap 4 of 6 and held the slim advantage to the flag.
Another new name took the honours in the first Steel Framed/Pre Injection 600 race; Mark Pattinson claimed a flag to flag victory on his Pre Injection machine. The next similar machine home was Jon Skelson who was 5th overall. Ahead of Skelson there was a battle for Steel Framed honours going on between the faster starting Dave Marsden, Dean Ephgrave and Anthony Porter, finally finishing with Porter taking the Class victory, Ephgrave 2nd and Marsden 3rd. With Pattinson not making it to the line in the second race the Steel Framed battle continued at the head of the field. Once again Marsden was the quicker starter leading across the line after the first lap then Ephgrave hit the front on Lap2, whilst Porter was third. Towards the end of the race Porter seemed to get a grip of the conditions and began to close the gap, passing Marsden on Lap 5 and pipping Ephgrave to the flag by just 0.18sec! The Pre Injection battle behind between two Lancastrians Andrew Sailor and A Leach, Sailor making the quicker start but then a mistake on the second lap caused him to drop several places, but he fought back to retake the advantage on the penultimate lap and hold on until the flag.
David Bradley took a flag to flag victory in the first combined Classics/Formula 125 race on his Classic 1000 machine. Next home was James Hind having a very impressive ride on his Formula 125 machine, just 2.3sec behind Bradley at the flag. Gary Porter was 3rd on another Classic 1000 machine, then Geoff Hadwin 4th, the first Classic 250 machine home. Gordon Thorpe was the first Classic 500 home in 7th and Jim Barnett taking the Classic 350 honours in 8th place. The second race saw Bradley briefly relinquish the lead to Porter on two occasions, but on the final lap his winning margin was 10seconds, with Hind, 3rd on his Formula 125 machine. Hadwin was again 4th on the first Classic 250, Brian Prescott the first Classic 350 in 9th and Oliver Presswood the first Classic 500 home in 10th.
Jamie Hodson had the perfect record in the Formula Darley/125GP races, two flag to flag victories and setting the fastest lap in both races. David Carson and Adam Child shared the 2nd and 3rd place honours in the class, Carson having the upper hand in the first race. Whilst Gavin Mills may have taken both wins in the 125GP class there was a fantastic battle between four riders on similar machines in the first race, the four separated by just 1.2sec at the flag! Graham Wilson 2nd, Emma Franklin, 3rd and James Hind 4th. The second race saw another thrilling battle, this time with three riders separated by 0.4sec at the flag, Franklin taking 2nd on this occasion with Wilson 3rd.
The first Pre98’s race was brought to an early finish due to a cloud burst, which ended up lasting for almost an hour, Tim Poole taking the honours on his (Up to 1300cc) machine, with Chris Moore taking the (Up to 500cc) class. The second race was a completely different affair, three riders battling throughout the 6 Lap race, less than 1 second separating them at the flag, John Bolsover managing to lead across the line on each occasion, with Adam Walters claiming 2nd and Andrew Lowe, 3rd.
Onto three wheels and the challenging conditions around lunchtime obviously suited the small 600cc machines, Dan Knight/Stephaine Hubert passing leaders of the first half, John & Jake Lowther on Lap 6, but only managing to pull a winning margin of 0.6sec by the end of the 10 laps. The first 1000cc machine home, that of Anthony Eades/Keith Box was down in 9th place. After not coming to the line in the first race Ray Thomas/Neil Aslaksen hit the front on the second lap of the second race and were never headed again, although the Lowther’s and Dan Knight’s father, Gary with Dan Evanson in the seat, were close behind ready to take advantage of any mistake made, once they had decided who was going to get the better of their own battle, the Lowther’s finally taking the Runner-up spot.
Hopefully that will be the end of the miserable weather we have all enjoyed recently, with temperatures forecast to rise maybe it will be t-shirt weather when Round 3 and 4 takes place on 18th/19th June 2016. If you cannot wait until then the Vintage Motor Cycle Club have their own two day meeting, at Darley Moor on the 18th/19th May 2016.
With Darley Moor being one of the few circuits in which dogs are welcome, provided they are kept on a lead at all times during race day and the owners act in a responsible manner, it is easy to make the weekend one to get away from the house. There is ample room for spectators to camp and caravan at Darley Moor over the race weekends. The cost is £5.00 per unit per night. Camping will normally be available from 4.00 pm on the Friday evening until 10.00 am on the day after the meeting or by special arrangement with the circuit management – Call 01335 343833.
The cost of adult admission to Darley Moor for all meetings, except the end of season Stars at Darley meeting, is £12.00 per day, children under 16 are free, and Senior Citizens are £8.00. Parking and Paddock Transfer is free and a programme costs just £3.00. Adult admission to the Test Days is £6.00, Senior Citizens 65 and over £4.00.
For the Stars at Darley event on 9th October the adult admission price is £16.00 and Senior Citizens £10.00.
Advance Tickets at discount prices are also available on-line just visit the Darley Race Shop for full details - http:// www.darleymoorstore.co.uk/
. 2016 Championship standings after Round 2 Peak Cup 1st Carl Morris
, 33pts; 2nd Jim Hodson, 24pts; 3rd Steve Proctor, 13pts Open Solo 1st Carl Morris, 33pts
; 2nd, MJ Morgan, 16pts; 3rd, Jim Hodson, 15pts Open Sidecars 1st Ray Thomas/Neil Aslaksen, 30pts;
2nd Rupert Archer/Steve Thomas, 18pts; 3rd Roy Tansley/Chris Judge, 17pts Lightweight 1st Chris Moore, 27pts
; 2nd Nick Gilman, 19pts; 3rd Wayne Martin, 18pts GP125 1st Emma Franklin, 22pts
; 2nd Gavin Mills, 18pts; 3rd Graeme Wilson, 16pts Formula 600 1st Jamie Hodson, 33pts;
2nd Steve Proctor, 18pts; 3rd Brad Vicars, 13pts Formula Darley 1st David Carson, 25pts
; 2nd Jamie Hodson, 18pts; 3rd Stuart Hall, 15pts Formula 125
1st James Hind, 30pts; 2nd Adam Warner, 20pts; 3rd Joey Thompson, 18pts; Formula 600 Sidecars 1st Gary Knight/Dan Evanson, 24pts
; 2nd Howard Baker/Mike Killingsworth, 16pts; 3rd John Lowther/Jake Lowther, 15pts Steel Framed 600 1st Anthony Porter, 36pts
; 2nd Dean Ephgrave, 22pts; 3rd Dave Marsden, 18pts Pre Injection 600 1st Mark Pattinson, 17pts
; 2nd A Leach, 16pts; 3rd Jon Skelson, 14pts Mini Sound of Thunder 1st David Carson, 28pts;
2nd Adam Child, 18pts; 3rd Kevin Bond, 14pts Sound of Thunder 1st Jamie Horner, 22pts;
2nd Lloyd Shelley, 18pts; 3rd Jay Bellars-Smith, 18pts Pre 98’s Up to 500cc 1st Chris Moore, 27pts;
2nd David Smith, 6pts Pre98’s up to 1300cc 1st Andrew Lowe, 22pts;
2nd A Leach, 17pts; 3rd Mark Brailsford, 14pts Classic 250 1st Glenn Atkinson, 30pts
; 2nd Andy Wilson, 20pts; 2nd Geoff Hadwin, 18pts Classic 350 1st Brian Prescott, 33pts
; 2nd Jim Barnett, 9pts Classic 500 1st Gordon Thorpe, 27pts
; 2nd Gary Widdowson, 24pts; 3rd Oliver Presswood, 9pts Classic 1000 1st
David Bradley, 36pts; 2nd Gary Porter, 12pts; 3rd Andrew Lee, 10pts