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Double The Action at Darley Moor

Tuesday July 5, 2022 at 3:37pm
Double The Action at Darley Moor
A very busy weekend for many; competitors, marshals and officials at the Darley Moor Motor Cycle Road Race Club Rounds 4 and 5 of their championship, over the weekend of 2nd/3rd July 2022.

Whilst the grids for Round 4 on Saturday may have been smaller the racing was entertaining and the camaraderie amongst the competitors, especially at Darley Moor, was evident.

One of the busier competitors over the weekend, was David Carson (Northwich) who started with a race victory in the opening race of the weekend, the non-championship Allcomers (up to 650cc Twins).  Ian Robinson (Eccleshall) was the quicker starting, leading for the first three laps, but with Andy Whale (Birmingham) and Carson closing him down until there was a change in the order on Lap4 with Carson going from 3rd to 1st and Robinson the other way, whilst Whale maintained his 2nd place.  Carson was then able to extend a healthy lead and with several back markers for the trio to pass he enjoyed a 12sec victory margin at the end of the ten-lap race.   With a change of machinery Carson then returned to the grid for Race 4, the Formula 600, but this was to be an opportunity for Ben Dale (Warrington) to stamp his authority on the class, without series leader Albert Walker (Retford) present anyway, and secure the first of two start – finish victories.  Once again Carson was 3rd after the opening lap, this time needing to make ground on Jake Hopper (Durham), who was able to keep him at bay until Lap8 of 10 when Carson fought his way past and held 2nd to the flag.  The second Formula 600 race saw Dale repeat his performance and finishing with a 7.7sec advantage at the flag over Carson, who held 2nd place from the end of the opening lap.  However, whilst Hopper was third over the line, he found himself with a 10sec penalty, for jumping the start, dropping him a place to 4th, behind Joe Yeardsley (Isle of Man).  Yeardsley didn’t need anybody’s fate in the two pre-Electronic 600 races, sealing victory in both races with dominant performances, the first with 19sec margin and the second with almost 23sec!

The Carson, Whale and Robinson trio ‘reunited’ themselves on the grid for the combined 700cc Twins/Lightweight classes and whilst Robinson, on a similar machine, led Carson across the line at the end of Lap1, he was to lose out on Lap2, Carson taking the lead and stretching out a comfortable margin by the end of the race, with Robinson finishing 2nd.  This time around Whale’s different machine put him in the Lightweight Class and whilst he finished with the Class win, 4th Overall, this only came about after original class leader, Peter Fell (Burton on Trent) failed to finish Lap6.  The second encounter saw Robinson hold off Carson until mid-race, with a similar gap being opened up by the chequered flag.  Robinson didn’t need a slice of luck in the second race, circulating as the highest placed Lightweight machine throughout the race, with Fell seeing the flag and recording 2nd place in the class, with 5th Overall.

At the previous Round, multiple Stars at Darley victor, Richard Cooper (Hucknall) surprisingly found himself with a couple of Runner-Up placings through some uncharacteristic errors, but this weekend, or certainly Saturday there was to be no errors, consistently lapping almost 2sec a lap, quicker than anybody else!!  However, this wasn’t to see him claim a full set of start – finish victories with a slow start in Race 2, the Allcomers – over 600cc race, finishing the opening lap in 6th place, a ‘treat’ in-store for the spectators.  By the end of Lap2 another place was gained, but by the end of Lap3, he was into 2nd and sights set on leader, Josh Daley (Wigan).  Lap6 saw the lead change hands into Cooper’s favour and stretch a gap of 7sec by the chequered flag.  Daz Bellworthy (Derby) and Richard Charlton (Durham) finished 3rd and 4th respectively, but not until after a race long battle which gave Bellworthy a quicker route through backmarkers in the latter stages of the race.  The four were also out in the combined Open Solos/Pre-Injection Open class race, all on Open Solo machinery, but Cooper was taking no prisoners, this time, claimed two start – finish victories, Daley the only person to get within 2sec of Cooper’s lap times and claiming two 2nd place overall finishes.  Cooper’s fastest lap on the day a 53.43sec halfway through the first race and Daley’s quickest 55.14sec halfway through the second encounter.  Charlton held the upper hand over Bellworthy in the first encounter, claiming 3rd and 4th respectively, but with Bellworthy not making the second race Mark Goodings (Doncaster) improved on his 5th place in the first to take 4th spot.  Adam Walters (Derby) secured both Pre-Injection Open class victories with 11th and 9th Overall.

The combined Honda CB500/Suzuki 600 and Forgotten Era races saw Martin Davis (Manchester) record a start-finish Overall victory in the first race, on his Forgotten Era machine, with David Greenwood (Hapton) following him home on the first CB500 machine and Connor Woodman (Poulton Le Fylde) 3rd Overall on another CB500.  Mark Brailsford (Chesterfield) made the grid for the second race and was able to start quicker than Davis, who didn’t hit the front until Lap3, but the pair then enjoyed a battle at the head of the field, providing the closest finish of the day, just 1.4sec separating the pair at the flag.  Woodman was able to turn the tables on Greenwood the second time out, the pair finishing 3rd and 5th respectively to take the CB500/Bandit 600 class honours.

Onto three wheels and the drama had started during Saturday Practice with Open Sidecar Championship leaders, Steve Thomas/Danny Lewis (Rockferry/Wirral) blowing an engine and ruling them out of the meeting.  However, such is the camaraderie amongst competitors, especially the sidecar teams, the 2nd in Championship, Anthony Eades/Ash Gibson (Hyde) lent them a replacement engine and they set about swapping them over.  Unfortunately, by the time the first race was taking to the grid the pair were still rebuilding their outfit.  However, the Formula 600 outfit of George Holden/Oscar Lawrence (Clitheroe/Kingsclere) made no mistakes, taking a start – finish victory with an advantage of over 20sec at the flag.  Eades/Gibson took the Open Sidecar class honours, finishing in 4th place Overall.  By the time the second race lined up on the grid the Thomas/Lewis pairing had rebuilt their machine, powered by the Eades/Gibson spare engine.  The Holden/Lawrence team continued their dominance opening a 7sec lead by the penultimate lap, but then failed to finish the final lap, handing the victory to another Formula 600 outfit, first race Runners-Up Martin Kirk/Kyle Masters (Cornwood/Benfleet) and elevating the 3rd place finishers, in Race 1, Howard Baker/Mike Killingsworth (Sutton Coldfield/Lincoln) up to 3rd place in another F600 machine.  However, the Open Class honours went Thomas/Lewis who thanked the generosity of their competitors by beating them to the Class victory by 18sec!

Round 5, Sunday 3rd July started off in similar fashion with David Carson taking the opening race of the day, the non-championship Allcomers – Up to 650cc Twins although he had to work a little harder after completing Lap1 in 7th place, with Eddy Wormald (Bedford) the quicker starter and leading the field on the opening lap.  Andy Whale then took the lead on the second lap, with Carson moving up to 4th, behind Ian Robinson, the quartet then crossing the line in that order for the next three laps until Whale and Carson exchanged 1st and 4th places on Lap5 and Carson was able to increase his advantage to over 6sec at the flag.  Wormald and Robinson enjoying their own battle for the Runner Up spot, but Wormald always leading across the line for the remaining five laps, separated at the flag by just 0.5sec.  The solo Formula 600 race would again see Carson resume the battle with Ben Dale and Jake Hopper, resulting in a similar pattern with Dale taking to start-finish victories, whilst Carson and Hopper would share a 2nd and 3rd place each.  However, Carson’s next race was the combined 700cc Twins and Lightweight class, returning to the grid with Wormald and Whale, but these races were to pan out a little different to the opening race after Carson led from the off and won both races with a margin of over 20sec each time.  Wormald was 2nd on both occasions on his twin cylinder machine with George Bedford (Hatton) and Whale each taking a Lightweight class victory, with 3rd overall.

The second non-championship race of the day gave the opportunity to, yet again, witness the fantastic battle between Richard Cooper and Josh Daley.  This time Cooper was on a new machine, not the previous day’s Suzuki 1000, but a Kramer 1000 and not completely set-up, which allowed Daley to lead the 10lap race until Lap8 when Cooper got the better route past a back marker.  However, not the end for Daley as the pair were to battle it out for the remaining laps, never separated by any more than 0.3sec for the remining laps.  The pair then returned to the grid for the two combined Open Solo/Pre-Injection Open races, and these ensured the entertainment level increased.  Daley led for much of the race, Cooper only able to cross the line, leading, on Laps 7-9, but a mistake on the penultimate lap allowed Daley to turn the tables, passing him on the last lap and take victory by just 0.33sec, over the finish line.  Although this was a ‘huge’ gap compared to the afternoon’s race, in which Cooper could only cross the line ahead on Lap7, Daly seeming to have the advantage when it mattered.   Throughout this race the pair were only once separated by 0.5sec, but much of the time the gap between them was at least half that.  Daley’s winning margin, after 10laps, was just 0.04sec!!  Not content with just using the two different 1000cc machines over the weekend Cooper also lined-up on the grid for the combined Honda CB500/Forgotten Era races on Sunday.  Mark Brailsford (Chesterfield) was quickest off the line on his 1000cc Forgotten Era machine, with Josh Froggatt (Worksop), 2nd and Cooper 7th on his CB500.  Lap2 saw Daz Bellworthy up into 3rd place, with Froggatt and Brailsford maintaining their positions ahead.  On Lap4 Cooper passed Bellworthy and Froggatt into 2nd, whilst Bellworthy moved into 3rd, with Froggatt dropping to 4th.  Cooper then hit the front on Lap7, dropping Brailsford to 2nd with Bellworthy remaining 3rd, where their positions stayed for the remaining laps.  Cooper stretching a lead of over 3sec at the flag.  Sunday afternoon’s race saw Cooper complete Lap1 in 17th place, dead last, with Brailsford leading from Bellworthy by 1.7sec.  Brailsford was able to extend his lead over the 2nd placeman each lap, but once again it was Cooper fighting back that the spectators were keeping an eye on.  Lap2 saw him up to 13th, Lap3 6th, Lap6 5th, Lap7 3rd before passing Bellworthy on Lap8 and setting about reducing Brailsford’s 4.4sec advantage.  By the end of the next lap the advantage halved, Lap 10 just 0.09sec with the pair side by side across the line on the penultimate lap, until a mistake from Cooper on the final lap allowed Brailsford to enjoy victory by 4.6sec.

With the absence of Saturday’s double race winner, Joe Yeardsley, Stuart Bradbury (Belper) had to come from behind on both occasions to settle victory in the pre-Electronic 600 races.  Nick Clare (Winsford) was quickest off the line in the opening race, leading for the first two laps until Bradbury hit the front, but followed him ‘home’ in 2nd after the end of 10laps.  The second encounter Dean Ephgrave (Hucknall) led the opening two laps, with Clare 2nd and Bradbury 3rd.  Clare passed Ephgrave for the lead on Lap3, whilst Bradbury remained 3rd, until moving pass both rivals to take the lead on Lap6, but then he found himself back in 3rd on Lap8, then bouncing back to lead Lap11 and holding the small advantage until the finish, with Clare 2nd and Ephgrave 3rd.

Onto 3 wheels and it was the Kirk/Masters pairing that recorded two victories for their Open class machine; the first after taking the lead on Lap2 from Steve Thomas/Danny Lewis, who were still taking advantage of Anthony Eades/Ash Gibson’s generosity in using their spare engine to beat them to the Runner-Up spot on both occasions.  The Formula 600 class honours went to Howard Baker/Mike Killingsworth in the first race, finishing 2nd Overall, but after leading the opening laps, then having Kirk/Masters pass them on Lap3 for the overall lead they failed to finish Lap7, handing the class victory to Charlie Moss/Adam Geddes, overall 4th place.

As far as the Club Championship is concerned that is all the action until Round 6 on Sunday 11th September, but there is a British Historic Racing meeting on 13th and 14th August 2022.

As always Practice for Round 6 will begin at 10.00 am with the first race scheduled for 11.30am.

The cost of adult admission to Darley Moor Motor Cycle Road Race Club meetings, except the end of season Stars at Darley meeting, is £16.00 per day, children under 16 are free, and Senior Citizens are £12.00.

Advance Tickets at discount prices (£13 and £10) are also available on-line just visit the Darley Race Shop for full details -

There is ample room for spectators to camp and caravan at Darley Moor over the race weekends. The cost is £7.00 per unit per night (£6 in advance).  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.

Championship Tables (after Round 5)

Open Solos

1st Mark Goodings, 57pts; 2nd Josh Daley, 42pts; 3rd Matthew Bell, 35pts

Open Sidecars

1st Steve Thomas / Danny Lewis , 66pts; 2nd Anthony Eades /Ash Gibson, 54pts; 3rd Martin Kirk/Kyle Masters, 30pts


1st Peter Fell, 64pts; 2nd Andy Whale, 36pts; 3rd Ben Brown, 31pts

Formula 600

1st Ben Dale, 61pts; 2nd David Carson, 40pts; 3rd Richard Cooper, 30pts

Formula 600 Sidecar

1st Howard Baker/Mike Killingsworth, 57pts; 2nd Bill Roberts/Nick Roberts, 46pts; 3rd Charlie Moss/Adam Geddes, 39pts

Pre-Electronic 600/750 Twin

1st Stuart Bradbury, 57pts; 2nd Dean Ephgrave, 47pts; 3rd Nick Clare, 43pts

700 Twins

1st David Carson, 60pts; 2nd Patrick Lord, 26pts; 3rd Ian Robinson, 24pts

Honda CB500 & Suzuki Bandit

1st Connor Woodman, 41pts; 2nd Alistair Corr, 37pts; 3rd Jordan Poole, 31pts

Pre-Injection 1300

1st Adam Walters, 75pts; 2nd Ian McKenzie, 54pts; 3rd Adam Boulton, 36pts

Classic 500

1st Oliver Presswood, 42pts; 2nd Rob Hodson, 15pts.

Forgotten Era 1300

1st Martin Davis, 64pts; 2nd Mark Brailsford, 57pts; 3rd David Bradley, 12pts

Forgotten Era 500

1st Paul Hawksworth, 30pts; 2nd Mike Lees, 27pts; 3rd Steve Price, 10pts

Forgotten Era 250

1st Glenn Atkinson, 45pts


Report by Brian George

Photos by Tony Else Photography

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