A Racing Feast & Thunderfest at Darley Moor

Wednesday May 3, 2017 at 2:13pm
A Racing Feast & Thunderfest at Darley Moor
The Darley Moor Motor Cycle Road Race Club held the second round of their Club Championship on May Day Bank Holiday, 1st May 2017. In addition to the regular championship classes that provide a huge variety of machinery on track throughout the day, the Thunderfest Time Trial brought together a vast array of solo machines, from 50cc through to 1,000cc, all built before 1978 and on track together. On top of this the first piece of silverware was presented to the winner of the Curtis Milner Trophy, in memory of a young Darley Moor racer who lost his life in a road accident.

The only small negative of the day was the weather providing a typical start to the Bank Holiday, but by the time the Practice sessions were underway the track was beginning to dry, giving way to perfect racing conditions and the spectators were treated to some excellent racing.

On a day where there were several competitors taking multiple wins in their classes it was fitting that the only rider to achieve 3 overall victories, was also the winner of the Curtis Milner Trophy, Steven Procter (Wakefield). The Trophy is decided by the results from the second Formula 600 race from Round 1 and Round 2, after taking a very close 2nd place at Round 1, by just 0.3sec and his rival not entering Round 2 he was favourite, but that is not always a foregone conclusion. However, his first race of the day was in the opening Peak Cup race, pitting his 600cc machine against the speed and power of the 1,000cc machines. Jim Hodson (Wigan) returned to the top of the results sheets with a start to finish win, just! Andy Taylor (Chesterfield) may have made only a slightly slower start than Hodson, but was consistently lapping quicker reducing the deficit from 1.2 at the end of Lap1 down to just 0.29sec at the flag. Behind these Julian Tillotson (Bolton) and Procter finished the first lap in 5th and 8th respectively. Tillotson, recording the fastest lap of the race in the process, fought his way up to 3rd, whilst Procter followed him across the line in 4th. The first Formula 600 race saw Procter cross the line 2nd after Lap1, he then passed Jamie Hodson (Wigan) on Lap2 and managed to stretch a lead of over 6seconds at the flag. Procter’s most impressive ride came in the second Peak Cup race in which he was lying 4th after the first lap, behind the larger 1000cc machines of Taylor, Hodson and Tillotson. Making up one place on each lap he moved into the lead on Lap7 and left the other three to battle it out for 2nd place honours, taking the victory by just over 1second, with Hodson 2nd, just 0.19sec ahead of Tillotson, with Taylor 3rd. The second Formula 600 race, the decider for the Curtis Milner Trophy saw a similar race for Procter to the first but with Richard Stubbs (Stone) leading from the start only to have Procter pass on Lap3 and stretch out a 3.5sec advantage at the flag and sealing the Trophy win with it.

Hodson, Taylor and Tillotson were also at the head of the field in the Open Solo races; the first saw Hodson lead across the start/finish line on each lap, with Taylor in very close proximity and Tillotson chasing them down throughout the race. After Hodson set the fastest lap of the race on Lap4 he gave himself the largest gap, just 0.5sec over Taylor until the final lap when Taylor made an error, which allowed the closing Tillotson to take advantage and move into the Runner-Up spot. The second Open Solo race saw a fantastic race long battle between Tillotson and Hodson, separated by little more than 0.3sec throughout; Tillotson leading across the line for the opening laps, then Hodson leading Laps 3 and 4, with Tillotson passing him again for the advantage on Lap 5 and holding it until the chequered flag; the winning margin just 0.19sec!

Proving to be one of the busiest racers on the day, after finishing 6th on a 600 in the first Peak Cup race Jamie Hodson (Wigan), switched machines and took a start-to-finish victory in the Formula Darley class. Prior to repeating the feat in the second Formula Darley race Jamie took the same machine to secure wins in the Mini Sound of Thunder class, running alongside the larger Sound of Thunder machines, recording an impressive 4th and 3rd overall in the two races. Winner of both Sound of Thunder races was Jamie Medhurst (Long Eaton) with start-to-finish victories in both.

The first combined Steel Frame 600/Pre Injection 600 provided another very close finish at the head of the field; Chris North (York) starting the quickest with Andrew Lowe (Stone) 1.4sec behind, but in 2nd place after the first lap and lapping quicker and managing to squeeze through into the lead on Lap4 and take the victory by just 0.27sec. In the second race Lowe made sure of the victory leading from the opening lap and his fastest lap being almost 2 seconds quicker than anybody else. Unfortunately, for North, he was once again pipped to the flag, by Daniel Morton (Rotherham),who managed to relinquish 2nd place from him on the final lap. Dean Ephgrave (Hucknall) took the Steel Framed honours in both races, finishing 5th and 6th overall.

Lowe was also pitting his 600cc machine against larger machines in the new for 2017, Pre Injection races, against 1000’s and 750cc machines. Whilst Jamie Pearson (Derby) took his 750cc machine to two start-to-finish victories, with Lowe in 2nd place throughout in the first race, he had to make up for a slower start in the second race; 4th after Lap1 before slotting in behind Pearson on Lap3 and holding that position until the flag.

Chris Moore’s (High Peak) feat in both combined Lightweight/CB500 races mirrored that of Pearson; two start-to-finish victories on his Lightweight machine. The same machine also gave him a 5th and 2nd place finish in the Formula Darley races. The first CB500 machine home on both occasions was Paul Sawyer (Nuneaton) with an overall 5th in the first race and 7th in the second.

The first Sidecar race saw Gary Knight/Dan Evanson (Macclesfield/Crewe) take a flag-to-flag victory on their 1000cc outfit, with John and Jake Lowther (Gainsborough), on their 600cc machine, trailing them for the entire race. With the Knight/Evanson team not making it to the grid for the second race the Lowther pairing enjoyed a start-to-finish victory of their own.

Both combined Classics/Formula 125 races were won, overall by David Bradley (Matlock) on his Classic 1000 machine; with class wins for Simon Collins (Tetbury) Classic 350, 3rd and 2nd overall; Liam Clements (Stoke on Trent) Classic 500, 4th and 3rd overall; Geoff Hadwin (Cumbria) Classic 250, 6th and 4th overall; James Bull (Southampton) Formula 125, 8th and 5th overall.

The additional entertainment for this Round was the Thunderfest Time Trial which saw almost 30 riders taking part. After their 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. The winner of this year’s event was Ian Munro (Blackburn) on his ‘Mash 400’ who was able to lap within 0.06sec of his anticipated time. Mike Harvey (Derby) on a Triton 650 finished 3rd, just 0.19sec of his own anticipated time.

The closest finish of the day, and most likely for some time to come was in the final race of the day, the handi-capped ‘Newcomers’ race. Andy Taylor (Chesterfield) taking the victory by just 0.02sec from Adam Salt (Stone) with Harry Jackson (Mansfield) 3rd and only 0.29sec behind Taylor!

Those spectators that turned out for this Bank Holiday meeting will certainly be looking forward to Round 3 which will be on Sunday 18th June 2017. As normal Practice starts at 1000hrs, with the first race scheduled for 1130hrs.

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/

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 2

Peak Cup

1st Jim Hodson, 28pts; 2nd Steven Procter, 17pts; 3rd Julian Tillotson, 16pts

Open Solo

1st Jim Hodson, 24pts; 2nd, Julian Tillotson, 22pts; 3rd, Ben Scranage, 15pts

Open Sidecars

1st Ray Thomas/Neil Aslaksen, 21pts; 2nd Brian Wilson/Mike Fairhurst, 20pts; 3rd Gary Knight/Dan Evanson, 18pts


1st Chris Moore, 33pts; 2nd Graham Wilson, 16pts; 3rd James Hind, 15pts

Formula 600

1st Steven Procter, 30pts; 2nd Lloyd Shelley, 18pts; 3rd Jamie Hodson, 20pts

Formula Darley

1st David Carson, 28pts; 2nd Jamie Hodson, 18pts; 3rd Chris Moore, 14pts

Formula 125

1st James Bull, 36pts; 2nd Ben David, 17pts; 3rd Jorge Halliday, 12pts

Formula 600 Sidecars

1st Howard Baker/Mike Killingsworth, 25pts; 2nd John Lowther/Jake Lowther, 18pts; 3rd Allan Schofield/Steve Thomas, 15pts

Steel Framed 600

1st Dean Ephgrave, 36pts; 2nd Wally Bradbury, 16pts; 3rd Luke Southworth, 12pts

Pre Injection 600

1st Andy Lowe, 36pts; 2nd Chris North, 20pts; 3rd Richard Shipley, 14pts

Mini Sound of Thunder

1st David Carson, 28pts; 2nd Stuart Hall, 18pts; 3rd Jamie Hodson, 18pts

Sound of Thunder

1st Jamie Medhurst, 30pts; 2nd Lloyd Shelley, 18pts; 3rd Jamie Horner, 14pts


1st Paul Sawyer, 26pts; 2nd Andy Whale, 21pts; 3rd Scott Gregg, 15pts

Pre Injection up to 1300cc

1st Jamie Pearson, 36pts; 2nd Andrew Lowe, 16pts; 3rd Mark Brailsford, 15pts

Classic 250

1st Geoff Hadwin, 36pts; 2nd Andy Wilson, 22pts; 3rd Charlie Ollis, 7pts

Classic 350

1st Simon Collins, 36pts; 2nd Mark Cockerton, 22pts; 3rd Alec Whitwell, 10pts;

Classic 500

1st Oliver Presswood, 23pts; 2nd Dave McCoy, 21pts; 3rd Frank Melling, 18pts

Classic 1000

1st David Bradley, 36pts; 2nd Andrew Lee, 12pts; 3rd Mike Harding, 10pts

Press Release issued by Brian George Photography

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