Can it ever be too hot to race or even just spectate at a meeting? If it is possible then Round 3 of the Darley Moor Motor Cycle Club Championships on Sunday 18th June must have been very close to it for many. The hottest day of the year so far and quite possibly some of the highest temperatures recorded on a race day, a huge ‘Thank You’ and huge respect must go out to the marshals who endured the heat and kept the day running to schedule.
Lloyd Shelley (Burntwood) was certainly one competitor who was enjoying the heat, taking four race wins in the Sound of Thunder and Formula 600 classes and breaking both race records in the process! The first win came in the Formula 600 class, a flag-to-flag victory in which only Steve Proctor (Wakefield) could come close to matching his lap times, finishing less than 3 seconds behind Shelley at the flag. Then, with barely time to refuel and grab a drink himself, Shelley was out again in the combined Sound of Thunder/Mini Sound of Thunder/Lightweight race. Another flag-to-flag win, this time 2nd place competitor, Matt Zschiesche (Stoke on Trent) crossed the line 18 seconds behind, but Shelley was on record pace, breaking the Race Record by 3 seconds in the process. Chris Moore (High Peak) was the first none Sound of Thunder machine home in 7th place, taking the Lightweight class victory and finishing 10 seconds in front of the Mini Sound of Thunder victor, Joe Walton (Preston). His third victory of the day came in the second Formula 600 race, again beating Proctor to the line, but this time by 14 seconds, again on record pace, knocking 6 seconds off his own Race Record in the process. His final victory of the day came, after another quick refuelling for himself and machine, another flag-to-flag win in the Sound of Thunder/Mini Sound of Thunder/Lightweight race, beating Zschiesche to the line by just 2 seconds on this occasion. Moore was again the first Lightweight machine across the line, finishing 5th overall and Walton the first Mini Sound of Thunder machine home, 10th overall.
Chris Moore and Joe Walton were also on track at the same time in the combined Formula Darley and CB500 races, on this occasion competing against each other in the Formula Darley class. Moore added to his victory total with not just Class wins, but taking Overall victory in both races, the first from David Carson (Northwich) 6 seconds behind, with Walton 3rd. The second race saw Moore finish 14 seconds ahead of Walton. CB500 honours went to Paul Sawyer (Nuneaton) who was the leading rider across the line, for the class, throughout most of the race, but he did drop a couple of places on Lap 6 but was able to find his way pass class rival Andy Whale (Birmingham) on the final lap, beating him to the line by just 0.11sec. In the second encounter Whale was quicker off the line, but Sawyer passed him on Lap3 and resisted the challenge from Whale until Lap6 when he found a way through and after putting in the quickest lap for the Class on the final lap took the win by 1.4sec.
In the Peak Cup class, Andy Taylor (Chesterfield) was quickest off the line in the first race and led for the opening couple of laps, with two Bolton riders behind him, Ben Scranage and Julian Tillotson, fighting for the bragging rights in their hometown. On Lap 2 Scranage had worked his way pass Tillotson for 2nd spot, then Lap 3 saw him move pass Taylor into the lead. Taylor then dropped a place each lap thereafter, losing out to first Tillotson, who finished 2nd, Steve Procter (Wakefield), 3rd and finally Simon Bowyer (Newcastle under Lyne) who pipped him to the line for 4th place by just 0.01sec! In the second encounter it was Tillotson and Procter who were quickest off the line, with Procter finding a way through into the lead on the 3rd lap. Scranage was lying 5th after the first lap, then finding his way pass Taylor on the second lap, then Bowyer on the 3rd lap, then finally passed Tillotson on Lap7 to move into 2nd place, but unable to get onto terms with Procter, who took the victory by just 0.43sec.
The Scranage/Tillotson battle continued in the Open Solo races and certainly ensured the spectators were entertained with Tillotson being the quicker off the line on both occasions, but Scranage able to find a way pass when it mattered most. The first race saw Tillotson lead across the line on the first three laps, the Scranage took the lead on Lap 4, but Tillotson took over the lead for Laps 5 and 6 only for Scranage to regain the advantage on the final two laps and win by 1 second. The second encounter saw Tillotson lead across the line for all bar the final lap, Scranage finding a way through to take the win by just 0.7sec.
In the combined Steel Framed 600/Pre Injection 600 races and Andy Lowe (Stone) took two flag-to-flag victories on his Pre Injection machine, the first with a winning margin of 17 seconds, following this up with an 11 second victory in the afternoon’s race. Steve Price (Cheadle) managed a similar feat for Steel Framed class, taking both class wins with a 4th and 3rd overall places.
Lowe was also out in the Pre Injection (up to 1300cc) class races, using his 600cc machine to good effect against the 1000cc machine. Quickest off the line in first race and leading for the lap until Jamie Pearson (Derby) passed him on the second lap and stretched out an advantage of 6 seconds at the flag. With Pearson away at the front Lowe was able to just stay ahead of the battle behind between Mark Brailsford (Chesterfield) and Anthony
Froggatt (Worksop). Brailsford finally passed Froggatt on the final lap to claim 3rd spot. In the second race it was Froggatt that was quickest off the line and leading the first lap, with Lowe 2nd and Pearson 3rd. Pearson then hit the front on Lap 2 once more, leaving Froggatt to hang onto 2nd spot, whilst Lowe succumbed to the pressure from Brailsford on Lap 5.
Macclesfield’s pairing of Dan Knight/Matthew Rostron claimed Overall victory in both Sidecar races, only headed on the first two laps of the first race by Howard Baker/Mike Killingsworth (Sutton Coldfield/Lincs). The pair took the first race with a winning margin of almost 9 sec and by 5.6 sec in the second race. Anthony Eades/Keith Box (Hyde/Wolverhampton) took the class honours for the 1000cc machines on both occasions.
The combined Classic/Formula 125 races saw David Bradley (Matlock) claim two overall victories on his Classic 1000 machine, with Michael Fox (Derby) finishing 2nd on both occasions and taking the Classic 500 honours. Geoff Hadwin (Cumbria) and Gary Whitman (Watford) shared the Classic 250 honours, whilst Brian Prescott (Burton Trent) and Mark Cockerton (Dudley) shared the Classic 350 victories, with Steve Lawton (Oldham) win-ning the Formula 125 honours.
For Round 3 only there were races for the ACU 50cc Championship featuring a variety of both modern and classic machinery out on track, Samuel Grief (Derby) was the winner of both races, taking both wins with a 20sec advantage over 2nd place, Douglas Marton (Manchester).
That was all the championship action for Round 3, not long to wait for Round 4 which will take place on Sunday 16th July 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/
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 3 Peak Cup 1st Steven Procter
, 30pts; 2nd Jim Hodson 28pts; 3rd Julian Tillotson, 26pts Open Solo 1st
Julian Tillotson, 34pts; 2nd Ben Scranage, 33pts; 3rd Jim Hodson, 24pts; Open Sidecars 1st Anthony Eades/Keith Box, 36pts;
2nd Ray Thomas/Neil Aslaksen, 21pts; 3rd Brian Wilson/Mike Fairhurst, 20pts; 3rd Lightweight 1st Chris Moore, 51pts
; 2nd Graham Wilson, 28pts; 3rd Gavin Mills, 16pts Formula 600 1st Steven Procter, 42pts;
2nd Lloyd Shelley, 36pts; 3rd Carl Booth, 11pts Formula Darley 1st Chris Moore, 38pts; 2nd David Carson, 34pts
; 3rd Jamie Hodson, 18pts; Formula 125 1st James Bull, 51pts
; 2nd Ben David, 25pts; 3rd Jake Hopper, 15pts Formula 600 Sidecars 1st Howard Baker/Mike Killingsworth, 37pts
; 2nd Dan Knight/Matthew Rostron, 32pts; 3rd Giles Stainton/Jenny Stainton, 19pts Steel Framed 600 1st Dean Ephgrave, 36pts
; 2nd Steve Price, 30pts; 3rd Wally Bradbury, 28pts Pre Injection 600 1st Andy Lowe, 54pts
; 2nd Dan Milner, 24pts; 3rd Chris North, 22pts Mini Sound of Thunder 1st David Carson, 34pts;
2nd Stuart Hall, 18pts; 3rd Jamie Hodson, 18pts Sound of Thunder 1st Lloyd Shelley, 36pts;
2nd Jamie Medhurst, 30pts; 3rd Jamie Horner, 22pts CB500 1st Paul Sawyer, 41pts;
2nd Andy Whale, 36pts; 3rd Shay Cummins, 18pts Pre Injection up to 1300cc 1st Jamie Pearson, 54pts;
2nd Andrew Lowe, 25pts; 3rd Mark Brailsford, 23pts Classic 250 1st Geoff Hadwin, 51pts
; 2nd Andy Wilson, 29pts; 3rd Gary Whitman, 15pts Classic 350 1st Simon Collins, 36pts;
2nd Mark Cockerton, 31pts; 3rd Brian Prescott, 22pts; Classic 500 1st Oliver Presswood, 31pts
; 2nd Dave McCoy, 21pts; 3rd Frank Melling, 18pts Report by Brian George Photos by Tony Else Photography