Two days of excellent racing brought the season to the halfway mark for the Darley Moor Motor Cycle Road Race Championship at the Darley Moor Motor Sports Centre, near Ashbourne (DE6 2ET) on Saturday and Sunday, 18th - 19th June 2016.
In addition to the regular racing classes Saturday’s event saw the return of the Thunderfest time trial, open to any motorcycle, road or race, built before 1978, from 50cc through to 990cc and with almost 40 riders registered there was a huge variety of machinery out on track. Following practice, the riders set their own target speed and attempt to lap the circuit for 20 minutes, as close to this time as possible, the rider nearest to their target wins. With the huge variety of machinery on track at the same time this requires a high degree of riding skill and concentration, in the past the winner has managed to lap within 0.05mph of his target.
Saturday saw the 0.05mph figure once more, but not to the winner this time, that was the 2nd place time. The 2016 Thunderfest winner was Robert Head (Cotgrave) on his 740 BSA/Norton who amazingly predicted his exact average speed.
Formula 600 competitors Lloyd Shelley (Burntwood) and Steven Procter (Wakefield) certainly played their part ensuring the crowd were entertained on both days with three out of four races being decided by less than 1 second, one with the narrowest margin of the weekend, 0.06sec! With the exception of their final battle of the weekend the pair where rarely any further than 0.5sec apart and despite Procter recording three ‘Fastest laps’ from four of their races he took just the one victory and three 2nd places against Shelley’s three wins and one 2nd place. Shelley was also in action in the Sound of Thunder races over the weekend, the only person to get close to him was Jamie Horner (Newark) who finished within 2 seconds of him in Sunday’s second race, Shelley enjoyed a winning margin of over 10 seconds in the other three races. Procter also enjoyed success on his 600cc machine against the larger 1000cc machines in the Peak Cup class, recording a win and a 3rd place on Saturday, plus two Runner-Up places on Sunday.
The person to beat in the Peak Cup races, unsurprisingly was the Championship leader, Carl Morris (Etwall) who was always there or thereabouts. Morris recorded a ‘flag to flag’ victory in the opening race on Saturday, followed by a very hard fought 2nd place in the second. Sunday’s opener saw him dropped to 3rd place after leading the early laps, but return with another flag to flag victory in the final Peak Cup battle. Simon Bowyer (Newcastle under Lyme) was the other rider trying to spoil Morris’ party, finishing Runner Up in Saturday’s opener then, after leading for several laps failing to finish Lap 7 of the second race. He then won Sunday’s opener and finished 3rd in the second encounter. The pair were also the riders to beat in the Open Solo class, although it was Morris who took two start – finish victories on Saturday, Bowyer recording a Runner–Up spot in the first race, but did not make it to the grid for the second race. Sunday saw Bowyer turn the tables on Morris recording a flag to flag victory in the first race with Morris having to settle for 2nd. With Bowyer not completing a lap in the second encounter it was Morris who recorded another flag to flag win.
While Shelley was dominating the Sound of Thunder class David Carson (Northwich) was enjoying the same success in the Mini Sound of Thunder class, racing alongside the larger machines. Recording a full set of victories and fastest laps for the class, Carson was able to record four overall 3rd place finishes. In addition to this he repeated the feat in the Formula Darley class; four victories, four fastest laps, but this time being the first passed the chequered flag each time, making him the most successful competitor of the weekend.
The Lightweight class was also racing alongside the Sound of Thunder machines and whilst Tony Limer (Doveholes, Buxton) enjoyed taking all four class victories over the weekend it wasn’t easy, having to battle with Neil Lloyd (Wednesbury) on both days, taking three 2nd places and one 3rd, and Nick Gilman (Buxton) a 3rd and 2nd place on Sunday.
The 125GP class was another class to provide the spectators with entertainment, racing alongside the Formula Darley machines Graham Wilson (Kidsgrove) and Gavin Mills (Spalding) never seemed to be separated on track all weekend. Wilson won both races on the Saturday and the second race on Sunday, finishing 3rd in their opening encounter on Sunday, whilst Mills finished 2nd in all four races. Sunday’s first race saw Charlie Atkins (Goole) take the victory on his new style Moto3 machine, backing this up with 3rd place in all the other races.
Saturday’s Sidecar races were another class to keep the spectators on their feet after Nev Jones/Tom Bryant (Gainsborough/Oswestry), on their 1000cc machine, had two race long battles with Howard Baker/Mike Killingsworth (Sutton Coldfield/Lincoln) 600cc machine. Both races saw the smaller outfit lead the earlier laps only to be overhauled by the Jones/Bryant machine each time; however both pairings still recorded maximum points towards their respective Championships. Sunday’s races were a little different with Rupert Archer/Steve Thomas (Shrewsbury/Birkenhead) taking two start-to-finish victories on their 1000cc outfit, followed throughout both races by the Baker/Killingsworth machine.
Jamie Pearson (Derby) was also in fine form over the weekend taking four start to finish victories on Saturday; both Pre 98 (Up to 1300cc), plus both Pre Injection 600 races and recording the fastest lap in each. Sunday didn’t go quite to plan after failing to complete the first lap in the opening Pre Injection/Steel Framed 600 race, but normal service was resumed in his next Pre98 race and the following Pre Injection/Steel framed race, but Pearson never made the grid in the final Pre98 race.
Andrew Lowe (Stone) recorded a 3rd place Pre Injection spot in Saturday’s opening race and a 4th place in the final Pre98 race on Saturday. Sunday proved much more successful following Pearson home in two races for 2nd place, but took the honours in the other two races that Pearson didn’t finish, giving him a win and a 2nd place in both the Pre 98 and Pre Injection 600 classes.
The Steel Framed 600 class saw the honours spread out among three riders over the weekend; Antony Porter (Chesterfield) recording a win and a 2nd place on Saturday, plus a start to finish victory in the opening race on Sunday, but his copybook was blotted in the second encounter when he failed to complete Lap2. Dave Marsden (Wirral) also took a victory each day, supporting this with a 3rd place on Saturday and a Runner-up spot on Sunday. Dean Ephgrave (Hucknall) recorded a 2nd and 3rd place on both days.
The combined Classic/Formula 125 races saw a tight battle between the Classic 1000 machines of David Bradley (Matlock) and Andy Bailey (Chesterfield) on Saturday; both riders taking a win and Runner-Up apiece. With Bailey’s absence Bradley took two comfortable wins on Sunday. The Formula 125 class saw James Hind (Nettleton) take the class victories on Saturday, impressively finishing overall 4th and 3rd in the two races.
Behind him Matthew Bower (Sheffield) and Jodie Fieldhouse (Weston Super Mare) both secured a 2nd and 3rd place apiece. With Hind absent Bower secured two class victories on Sunday, although in the second race he had a race long battle with Fieldhouse, passing her on Lap4 to lead the class and only beating her to the line by less than 0.5sec.
The next round of the Championship, Round 5 is scheduled for Sunday 10th July 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 can be another excuse to get away from the house and enjoy the summer! 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 4 Peak Cup 1st Carl Morris
, 61pts; 2nd Steve Proctor, 38pts; 3rd Jim Hodson, 24pts; Open Solo 1st Carl Morris, 66pts
; 2nd, MJ Morgan, 29pts; 3rd, Alan Hughes, 29pts Open Sidecars 1st Ray Thomas/Neil Aslaksen, 39pts;
2nd Rupert Archer/Steve Thomas, 27pts; 3rd Nev Jones/Tom Bryant, 24pts Lightweight 1st Neil Lloyd, 36pts
; 2nd Tony Limer, 36pts; 3rd Nick Gilman, 29pts GP125 1st, Graeme Wilson 47pts
; 2nd Gavin Mills, 42pts; 3rd, Emma Franklin, 31pts Formula 600 1st Steve Proctor, 45pts;
2nd Lloyd Shelley, 42pts; 3rd Jamie Hodson, 33pts Formula Darley 1st David Carson, 61pts
; 2nd Kevin Bond, 32pts; 3rd Jamie Hodson, 18pts Formula 125
1st James Hind, 48pts; 2nd Adam Warner, 36pts; 3rd Matthew Bower, 28pts; Formula 600 Sidecars 1st Howard Baker/Mike Killingsworth, 52pts
; 2nd Richard Hackney/Andrew Mitchell, 28pts; 3rd Gary Knight/Dan Evanson, 24pts Steel Framed 600 1st Anthony Porter, 60pts
; 2nd Dave Marsden, 46pts; 3rd Dean Ephgrave, 42pts Pre Injection 600 1st Andrew Lowe, 31pts
; 2nd Mark Pattinson, 27pts; 3rd Jamie Pearson, 27pts Mini Sound of Thunder 1st David Carson, 64pts;
2nd Kevin Bond, 32pts; 3rd Stephen Taylor, 32pts Sound of Thunder 1st Lloyd Shelley, 54pts;
2nd Jamie Horner, 46pts; 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, 40pts;
2nd Jamie Pearson, 27pts; 3rd Mark Brailsford, 21pts Classic 250 1st Glenn Atkinson, 45pts
; 2nd Geoff Hadwin, 36pts; 2nd Mark Cockerton, 35pts Classic 350 1st Brian Prescott, 57pts
; 2nd Jim Barnett, 18pts Classic 500 1st Gordon Thorpe, 36pts
; 2nd Gary Widdowson, 33pts; 3rd Oliver Presswood, 27pts Classic 1000 1st David Bradley, 69pts;
2nd Andy Bailey, 15pts; 3rd Gary Porter, 12pts