Round 5 of the Darley Moor Motorcycle Road Race Championship took place on Sunday 13th August 2017 and whilst the honours for race wins and silverware may have been shared amongst a smaller number of competitors than usual the racing was still excellent and held in near perfect conditions.
Three competitors managed to secure four race wins each, including class victories, throughout the day, whilst another ten recorded a pair of wins apiece.
Ben Scranage (Bolton) and Lloyd Shelley (Burntwood) both completed a full set; four overall victories and the four Fastest Laps in those races. Ross Richards (Chesterfield) secured four victories, including two class victories, recording three fastest laps in the process. (However, Richards has requested not to be included in the points towards the Club Championship as he will not be competing at all rounds.)
Scranage took his victories in the Peak Cup and Open Class races, but they were certainly not easy wins. In all bar the final Open Solo race he had to overcome the faster starting Andy Taylor (Chesterfield), who will definitely be one to watch for the future as he was still resplendent in his novice jacket, showing he had not competed in 10 meetings, as yet. After battling with Scranage and Carl Morris (Etwall) throughout all four races Taylor secured three Runner-Up spots, whilst Morris, after finishing 3rd on three occasions was able to beat Taylor to the line in the final Open Solo race, Taylor having to settle for 3rd on this occasion.
Shelley took his victories in the Formula 600 and Sound of Thunder races, on each occasion Matt Zschiesche (Stoke on Trent) was forced to settle for the Runner-Up spot, although in the final Sound of Thunder he almost had Shelley beaten. Zschiesche got the better, whilst Shelley was a little slower off the line, finishing the first lap in 4th place. By Lap3 Shelley had moved into 2nd spot and was right on the back wheel of Zschiesche by the next lap, a small mistake by Shelley helped Zschiesche stretch the gap a little for the next, but on Lap6 he had found a ways past, but Zschiesche was not giving up and finished just 0.64sec back, at the flag.
Two of Richards’ victories came in the Mini Sound of Thunder class running, alongside the faster Sound of Thunder machines, but he was able to get his machine up to 6th and 5th spot in the two races, whilst nearest rival David Carson (Northwich) recorded 8th and 9th Overall. However, the pair did battle it out for overall honours in the combined Formula Darley /Lightweight races, Richards managing to get the quicker start on both occasions and just stay clear of Carson each time. The victor of the Lightweight class, Chris Moore (High Peak) had to come from behind on both occasions to deny Graham Wilson (Stoke on Trent) the honours, pushing him back into the class’s Runner-Up place both times. The first race saw Moore finish the first lap 9th, with Wilson 6th, then onto his tail on the next lap, but it took until the 5th lap to find a way past and then stretch a ‘lead’ of just over 2sec at the flag; the pair finishing 5th and 7th overall. Their second race saw Moore follow Wilson across the line on the first Lap, then move ahead on the second, finally finishing 4sec ahead, 4th overall, with Wilson 8th.
Although not securing four victories Andrew Lowe (Stone) did record two overall victories in the combined Steel Framed 600/Pre Injection 600 races; winning the first after leading across line on each of the six laps and with a 6sec winning margin. He had to work a little harder in the second race after following Matt Smith (Newhall) across the line for the first two laps, but then after finding a way through on Lap3 he was able to stretch out a lead of almost 3sec at the flag. Ant Porter (Chesterfield) took his Steel Framed machine to a class victory in both races finishing 4th and 3rd place overall, pipping Dave Marsden (Newferry) on the final lap of the first race, but leading him from Lap2 onwards in the second race. Lowe was also out on track, on the same machine, in the Pre Injection (Up to 1300cc) races, managing to record two 3rd places. Double winner, Jamie Pearson (Derby), led all bar the first lap of the first race, with Ian Morgan (Derby) taking both Runner-Up places. In the process Pearson beat brother, Shane’s old Race Record set in September 2014 by 7.5sec, in the second race. The record now stands at 7m 50.14sec, 91.89mph.
The pairing of Dan Knight/Matthew Rostron (Northwich/Formby) secured a double Formula 600 class victory in the Sidecar races; in the first they followed the 1000cc machine of Allan Schoefield/Steve Thomas (Wirral/ Birkenhead) home for an overall 2nd place finish. In the second race the Schoefield/Thomas pairing failed to make the grid leaving Knight/Rostron to secure a start-finish victory, the first 1000cc machine home was that of Anthony Eades/ Keith Box (Hyde/Wolverhampton), in an overall 5th place.
The remainder of the double winners came in the combined Classics/ Formula 125 races; Neil Hingley (Burntwood) dominating both races with start-finish victories on his Classic 1000 machine, David Bradley (Matlock) the only rider to finish within 20sec of him; just 4sec behind in the first race and 6.5sec back in the second. Andy Bacon (Hucknall) finished 3rd overall on both occasions, but taking the Classic 500 honours; Simon Collins (Tetbury) recorded a 5th and 4th overall to take the Classic 350 class victories; Geoff Hadwin (Cumbria) took the Classic 250 honours, finishing 10th and 9th overall and James Bull (Southampton) took the Formula 125 honours, with 9th and 11th overall.
The Honda CB500 races was the only class to have two different winners, that is not to say the others were not exciting, because they definitely were, but the group of up to 5 riders at the front of the CB500’s were changing positions throughout the 6 and 8 lap races. Mark Emuss (Beeston) managed to pull out a small lead at the front of the group and after Andy Whale (Birmingham) failed to finish the final lap the results sheet show a winning mar-gin of just over 6sec for Emuss, but 2nd, 3rd and 4th place were split by just 0.4sec at the line; Paul Sawyer (Nuneaton), 2nd; Howard James (Bedworth), 3rd and Shay Commins (Nuneaton), 4th. In the second encounter after chasing the leader down Whale hit the front on Lap7 and managed to stretch a lead of just over 3 seconds at the flag, but then there was a group of 5 split by just 1.5sec; Sawyer, 2nd; Commins, 3rd; Scott Gregg (Oakham), 4th and James, 5th.
This weekend’s number of double+ winners was a very rare occurrence, I’m sure Round 6 will be somewhat different, but there is not long to wait until Sunday 17th September 2017.
General Admission at just £12 (Senior Citizens £8 and Under 16’s free) it can be a cheap day out for all the family. Practice starts at 1000hrs, with the first race scheduled for 1130hrs.
Or, make a weekend of it; 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 5 Peak Cup 1st Ben Scranage, 56pts;
2nd Andy Taylor, 35pts; 3rd Steven Procter, 30pts; Open Solo 1st Ben Scranage,60pts
; 2nd Andy Taylor, 35pts; 3rd Julian Tillotson, 34pts; Open Sidecars 1st Anthony Eades/Keith Box, 69pts;
2nd Brian Wilson/Mike Fairhurst, 40pts; 3rd Ray Thomas/Neil Aslaksen, 21pts; 3rd Lightweight 1st Chris Moore, 87pts
; 2nd Graham Wilson, 50pts; 3rd Phillip Leatherland, 22pts Formula 600 1st Lloyd Shelley, 72pts;
2nd Steven Procter, 42pts; 3rd Matthew Zschiesche, 31pts Formula Darley 1st David Carson, 70pts; 2nd Chris Moore, 38pts
; 3rd Joe Walton, 28pts; Formula 125 1st James Bull, 69pts
; 2nd Jamie Hanks-Elliott, 30pts; 3rd Ben David, 25pts; Formula 600 Sidecars 1st Dan Knight/Matthew Rostron, 68pts
; 2nd Howard Baker/Mike Killingsworth, 61pts; 3rd Richard Hackney/ Andrew Mitchell, 25pts Steel Framed 600 1st Steve Price, 46pts
; 2nd Dean Ephgrave, 44pts; 3rd Wally Bradbury, 40pts Pre Injection 600 1st Andy Lowe, 81pts
; 2nd Dan Milner, 45pts; 3rd Chris North, 22pts Mini Sound of Thunder 1st David Carson, 61pts;
2nd Joe Walton, 41pts; 3rd Jack Petrie, 22pts Sound of Thunder 1st Lloyd Shelley, 72pts;
2nd Matt Zschiesche, 36pts; 3rd Jamie Medhurst, 30pts Pre Injection (Up to 1300cc) 1st Jamie Pearson, 90pts
; 2nd Andrew Lowe, 39pts; 3rd Mark Brailford, 32pts CB500 1st Paul Sawyer, 68pts;
2nd Andy Whale, 54pts; 3rd Shay Commins, 33pts Classic 250 1st Geoff Hadwin, 84pts
; 2nd Andy Wilson, 37pts; 3rd Gary Whitman, 30pts Classic 350 1st Simon Collins, 72pts;
2nd Mark Cockerton, 55pts; 3rd Brian Prescott, 30pts; Classic 500 1st Oliver Presswood, 51pts
; 2nd Dave McCoy, 45pts; 3rd Frank Melling, 26pts Classic 1000 1st David Bradley, 75pts
; 2nd Mike Harding, 29pts; 3rd Neil Hingley, 18pts