What a way to start the season; the largest entry for a Club Championship meeting for a long time and, despite the British Superbike meeting ‘just down the road’ at Donington Park, the biggest crowd for a while, excluding any Stars at Darley meetings of course, some very close racing and superb weather! Then, in addition to the racing, the Mayor of Ashbourne, Councillor Caroline Cooper opened the new Darley Moor Training facility. The Club were then delighted that after completing her official duties the Mayor then remained at the circuit for the entire day, thoroughly enjoying the racing.
With a 25 race programme on offer, dependant on machinery a number of competitors had plenty of opportunity to be out on track and David Carson (Northwich) was the competitor to record the perfect score; four victories, four fastest laps from four starts. In the first Formula Darley race he was able to hold a 2 second advantage over the busiest rider of the day, Chris Moore (High Peak), his first of five races. The second race saw Moore get the better start and lead for the first four laps until Carson passed him on the fifth lap and was able to stretch a 1.2sec advantage at the flag. Carson’s other two victories came in the Mini Sound of Thunder class, taking his smaller machine to 4th and 5th place overall, alongside the larger Sound of Thunder machines, but the first in his class. Stuart Hall (Rugeley) taking the class’s Runner-Up spot each time, recording 8th and 9th overall.
Lloyd Shelley (Burntwood) was another competitor to record four wins from four starts, with three fastest laps, getting his title defences off to the perfect start, but they were certainly not easy victories. In the first Formula 600 race he may have led across the line after each of the six laps, but Steven Proctor (Wakefield) was no more than 0.5sec behind throughout. In the second race Shelley had the better start leaving Proctor 1.5sec adrift after Lap1, but he was up for the challenge, closing the gap throughout race and after recording the fastest lap on the final circuit, had reduced the deficit to just 0.34sec at the flag. The second victory giving Shelley the advantage in the Curtis Milner Trophy, in memory of a young Darley Moor racer who lost his life in a road accident. The results show that Shelley had an easier time in both Sound of Thunder races, taking the victories, from Jamie Medhurst (Long Eaton), by 11 and 8 seconds respectively, but the first race wasn’t quite as easy as it seemed. On track Medhurst was a lot closer, crossing the line just 1.6sec behind, but he then had a 10 second penalty added to his time for jumping the start.
From four races Daley Mathison (Stockton on Tees) recorded three victories and four fastest laps, one of those victories, the second Open Solo race, also included a 10 second penalty for taking up an incorrect starting position, but he was still able to record a 0.12sec victory over Ben Scranage (Bolton). In the first Open Solo race Mathison was involved in a superb three way battle at the head of the field between Ben Crowe (Carnforth) and Scranage. The trio separated by less than 1sec for four laps, passing Scranage on Lap2, then Crowe on the 5th lap he tried to ensure the victory, but failed to finish the final lap, allowing Crowe to take the victory by 1.2sec from Scranage. Mathison’s Peak Cup races saw him lead all but the very first lap of the first race, after overhauling
Simon Bowyer (Newcastle under Lyme) he then went on the take the victory by 3.5sec. The second race saw a flag to flag victory and an advantage of over 12sec from Jim Hodson (Wigan) in 2nd place, Bowyer failing to finish the 4th lap on this occasion.
In addition to his Formula Darley results Chris Moore (High Peak) was also in action in the first UK Two Stroke Cup race and defending his champion’s title in the Lightweight class. Taking the Runner-Up spot in the Two Stroke Cup, with Graham Wilson (Kidsgrove) 3rd, he repeated the feat in the first Lightweight race, again in front of Wil-son, then went on to record a flag to flag victory in the second Lightweight race. Unfortunately, after shadowing Moore once again, Wilson failed to finish the final lap, handing James Hind (Nettleton) the Runner-Up spot, adding to his 4th place in the first race.
Jamie Pearson (Derby) recorded the very first victories in the new Pre Injection 1000 class; the first after coming from 3rd place on Lap1, into 2nd place on Lap3 and passing Michael Hand (Lincs) on the final lap for the victory by just 0.4sec, with Mark Brailsford (Chesterfield) 3rd. The second encounter was much more straight-forward for Pearson, after getting the quicker start he recorded a flag to flag victory, with Hand and Brailsford repeating their 2nd and 3rd places respectively.
Andrew Lowe (Stone) recorded two flag to flag overall victories in the combined Steel Framed/Pre-Injection 600 races, with a 3 second advantage in the first and a very comfortable 13 second cushion in the second race, on his Pre Injection machine. Dean Ephgrave (Hucknall) took the Steel Framed honours on both occasions, with 4th and 5th overall.
The combined Classics and Formula 125 races also saw David Bradley (Matlock) take victory in both races, leading from the start in both, on his Classic 1000 machine.
The first of the Sidecar races saw Gary Knight and Dan Evanson (Macclesfield/Crewe) record a start to finish victory on their 1000cc machine, leaving the current Formula 600 Champions Howard Baker and Mike Killingsworth (Sutton Coldfield/Lincolnshire) to battle it out with Allan Schofield/Steve Thomas (Wirral) for 2nd and 3rd places.
Only after Lap3 did the defending Champions put any distance between themselves and their class rivals. With Knight/Evanson not making it to the grid for the second race the battle for Formula 600 honours was played out at the head of the field. The current champions led early on, but on Lap 5 Schofield/Thomas found a way through and were able to hold on to the finish, taking victory by just over 1sec.
If the action at Round 1 was anything to go by we are in certainly in for a cracking season of racing. Not long to wait for Round 2, the decider of the Curtis Milner Trophy, plus the Thunderfest spectacle, which has a huge array of machinery on track, on the 1st May 2017.
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/
A 2017 Season Pass for Darley Moor is also available for £75 including VAT (£48 incl VAT Senior Citizens) and admits to ALL motor cycle events at the circuit including test days and can be purchased online or by sending a cheque made payable to Darley Moor MCRRC Ltd, together with the full name of the season pass holders to: Season Passes, Darley Moor MCRRC Ltd, Anvil House, Derby Road, Old Tupton, Chesterfield, S42 6LA
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.
Darley Moor is 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. 2017 Championship standings after Round 1 Peak Cup 1st Jim Hodson
, 13pts; 2nd Simon Bowyer, 9pts; 3rd Frank Gallagher, 9pts Open Solo 1st Ben Scranage, 15pts
; 2nd, Ben Crow, 9pts; 3rd, Jim Hodson, 9pts Open Sidecars 1st Ray Thomas/Neil Aslaksen, 15pts; 2nd Gary Knight/Dan Evanson, 9pts
; 3rd Brian Wilson/Mike Fairhurst, 8pts Lightweight 1st Chris Moore, 15pts
; 2nd Steve Neate, 9pts; 3rd James Hind, 9pts Formula 600 1st Lloyd Shelley, 18pts;
2nd Steven Procter, 12pts; 3rd Jamie Hodson, 4pts Formula Darley 1st David Carson, 18pts
; 2nd Chris Moore, 12pts; 3rd Matt Zschiesche, 6pts Formula 125 1st James Bull, 18pts
; 2nd Ben David, 10pts; 3rd McAuley Longmore, 6pts Formula 600 Sidecars 1st Howard Baker/Mike Killingsworth, 15pts
; 2nd Allan Schofield/Steve Thomas, 15pts; 3rd Richard Hackney/ Andrew Mitchell, 6pts Steel Framed 600 1st Dean Ephgrave, 18pts
; 2nd Luke Southworth, 12pts; 3rd Wally Bradbury, 8pts Pre Injection 600 1st Andy Lowe, 18pts
; 2nd Chris North, 10pts; 3rd Richard Shipley, 9pts Mini Sound of Thunder 1st David Carson, 18pts;
2nd Stuart Hall, 12pts; 3rd Jason Wilkes, 7pts Sound of Thunder 1st Lloyd Shelley, 18pts;
2nd Jamie Medhurst, 12pts; 3rd Rich Baker, 5pts CB500 1st Scott Gregg, 15pts;
2nd Andy Whale, 15pts; 3rd Paul Sawyer, 8pts Pre Injection up to 1300cc 1st Jamie Pearson, 18pts;
2nd Michael Hand, 12pts; 3rd Mark Brailsford, 8pts Classic 250 1st Geoff Hadwin, 18pts
; 2nd Andy Wilson, 12pts; Classic 350 1st Simon Collins, 18pts; 2nd Mark Cockerton, 12pts; 3rd Brian Prescott, 7pts
; Classic 500 1st Frank Melling, 18pts
; 2nd Dave McCoy, 12pts; 3rd Oliver Presswood, 8pts Classic 1000 1st
David Bradley, 18pts; 2nd Mike Harding, 10pts; 3rd Andrew Lee, 6pts