Close Racing Keeps Spectators Happy at Darley’s Round 4

Tuesday August 15, 2023 at 3:29pm
Close Racing Keeps Spectators Happy at Darley’s Round 4

Round 4 of the Darley Moor Motor Cycle Road Race Club Championship, held on Sunday 13th August 2023, saw a twenty-race programme covering classes for two, three and four wheels, with six of those races being decided by less than 1sec, in fact five of those by 0.5sec or less!

The closest finish of the day came in the opening Classic & Forgotten Era race with Adam Sheriff (Barnsley) passing Mark Brailsford (Chesterfield) on the final lap and crossing the Finish line just 0.01sec ahead of the rider who had led all but Lap2 of the 8lap race!  Brailsford was quickest off the line, finishing Lap1 with a 1.2sec advantage over Sheriff, but at the end of Lap2 Sheriff had a 0.12sec lead over the Chesterfield competitor.  Lap3 saw Brailsford back in front, heading the field once more, with Sheriff right in his slipstream.  The pair then battled throughout the remaining laps with Brailsford crossing the line first each time.  On the penultimate lap he enjoyed a 0.3sec advantage as they crossed the line, but a determined Sheriff saw the gap reduce and advantage swing towards him as they crossed the line, taking the win by the narrowest of margins.  The second encounter saw Brailsford start quickest again and enjoying a 0.8sec lead after Lap3, but the dogged Sheriff certainly was not going to give in easily, Lap4 the gap was down to just 0.12sec between the pair.  By Lap8 Brailsford had always been the first across the line, but this was a 10lap race and Sheriff made his move on Lap9, crossing the line with a 0.5sec lead and holding it to the chequered flag.  With Sheriff and Brailsford both on ‘Up to 1300cc’ class machinery the pair behind were taking 3rd and 4th Overall on both occasions, but each taking their own class victory, Steve Price (Cheadle) 3rd place, and the first ‘Up to 500cc’ class followed by Chris Barton (Congleton), 4th but the first ‘250cc’ class machine across the line.

Another race-long battle to ensure the crowd were kept entertained was in the first combined Open Solo and Pre-Injection Solo race in which Matthew Bell (Sheffield) led across the line throughout the 8lap race, but other than the opening lap, in which Richard Charlton (Co Durham) was in 3rd place, behind Mark Goodings (Doncaster), although still just 0.5sec behind Bell, Charlton was always within the slipstream of the leader, all three competitors on Open Solo machines.  After recording the fastest lap of the race Charlton was just 0.02sec behind on Lap5 and the largest gap between the pair was on the penultimate lap, split by 0.33sec, but as they crossed the finish line for the final time Bell’s victory margin was just 0.05sec, with Goodings taking 3rd place, 7sec down.  With Charlton not making the grid for the second race Goodings took the battle to Bell, who was quickest off the line, but Goodings followed him across the line for the first time just 0.18sec in his wake, then was able to find a way through on Lap2 and from then on was able to stretch out a 7sec gap by the end of the 10lap race. Pre-Injection honours went to Stuart Bradbury (Kilburn), in the first, recording a 7th Overall, with Richard Chivers-Jarvis (Hucknall), 8th Overall, but 2nd in class.  The tables were turned in the second race with Chivers-Jarvis, 5th Overall and Bradbury, 6th.

Yet another fierce battle at the head of the field took place in the combined Lightweight and Honda CB500 race, this time with just 0.12sec separating Matt Zschiesche (Biddulph) and Richard Hughes (Wolverhampton) on CB500 machines.  The opening lap saw Hughes lead across the line with Zschiesche, 2nd and Jordan Poole (Stoke on Trent) 3rd, split by 0.72sec.  Zschiesche found a way through on the 2nd lap, crossing the line with just a 0.1sec separating him from Hughes and Poole a further 0.3sec back.  Unable to stretch anything larger than 0.36sec advantage Zschiesche was under pressure from Hughes throughout the race, with Poole a close 3rd, ready to pick up the pieces should anything occur between the battling Zschiesche/Hughes duo.  With a gap of just 0.32sec as they crossed the line for the penultimate time Hughes set the fastest lap of the race, for the class, on the final lap, but could still not find a way through, leaving Zschiesche to take the victory by just 0.12sec, with Poole, 2sec behind, in 3rd.  Winner of the Lightweight class Andy Whale (Birmingham) was a slower starter and found himself down in 9th after the first lap, but through to 6th on the 2nd lap and another place higher on the 3rd lap, before reaching his 4th place by Lap6 of the 8lap race.  The second encounter saw Hughes lead across the line after Lap1, with Poole close behind, Zschiesche, 3rd and Whale, 4th.  At the end of Lap2 Hughes was still leading, but Poole had dropped down to 5th, with Zschiesche, 2nd and Whale, 3rd.  Lap 3 saw Whale hit the front, 0.5sec ahead of Hughes and Zschiesche very close behind.  Whale was able to stretch out a lead, but by Lap5 Zschiesche was up into 2nd place, 2sec adrift of the leader and despite closing the gap to just 0.5sec on Lap9, the penultimate lap Whale had stretched it to 1sec by the chequered flag, Zschiesche taking 2nd overall, but CB500 class honours.

Prior to these races keeping the spectators on their feet the Ben Godfrey Trophy opened the days race action and with the combination of Matthew Bell and Richard Charlton setting the scene for the battle later in the day.  Charlton was quickest off the line, finishing the opening lap with a miniscule margin over Bell, but on the second lap Bell crossed the line with a 2sec advantage and was able to keep that margin throughout the remainder of the race despite Charlton recording the fastest lap on the final circulation.  The second Ben Trophy race saw Bell quickest off the mark and holding the advantage until Goodings, who was in his wheel tracks from the off, found a way through on Lap7, coinciding with slower lap times from Bell.  Goodings finally enjoying a victory margin of almost 10sec at the flag thanks to Bell’s woes causing him to slow by almost 2sec per lap.

The next race up was the Wilson Trophy Championship opening race which saw Matt Zschiesche record his first victory of the day with a start – finish victory, leaving Arron Howe (Derby) and Jordan Poole to battle it out throughout the entire race.  Howe was able to cross the line first between the pair, but they were never separated by anything more than 0.4sec throughout the 8lap race, the pair split by just 0.2sec at the flag.  The second race saw Peter Fell (Burton On Trent), who failed to finish Lap2 of the first race, record a start – finish victory, albeit with Zschiesche passing Howe on Lap3, into 2nd place, with a gap to Fell of 2sec, then reducing it down to just 0.5sec at the chequered flag.

Next up was the opening Darley Cup Championship race and a quick opportunity to allow Mark Goodings to add to his tally of wins with a start – finish victory and a 5sec margin over David Carson (Northwich), who had to make up for a slower start after being 6th after the opening lap.  Initially it was Jim Hodson (Wigan) chasing Goodings, but unfortunately after holding 2nd for the opening laps he dropped to 4th on lap4 then failed to finish the 5th lap.  However, after his opening 6th place Carson had moved up to 4th on Lap2, 3rd on Lap3 and 2nd on Lap4, but could not make any significant in-roads to Goodings.  In 3rd place from the opening lap and holding it throughout race distance, except for Lap3, Chris Stuart (Nottingham), finished a further 8sec back on Carson.  In the second race Carson and Goodings switched fortunes on the opening lap, Carson heading the field by 0.3sec, whilst Goodings was languishing down in 9th place.  Recording his fastest lap of the race Carson was able to stretch out his lead to 6sec by the end of Lap2 whilst Goodings had only made it through to 8th.  With steady progress through the field Goodings was up to 2nd place by Lap7, but with a 13sec gap to Carson and just 3 laps remaining, it was too much to expect, finally finishing 11sec back with Josh Froggatt (Worksop) taking 3rd spot a further 6sec behind.

Prior to his Darley Cup success Carson had to battle with Jack Worth (Barnsley) to claim his first victory of the day in the Formula 600 class.  Finishing the opening lap in 4th place, with Worth leading the field from Chris Stuart and Froggatt, 3rd.  Lap2 and Carson moved into 2nd place before passing Worth on Lap4 and recording the fastest lap of the race on Lap5, allowing him to stretch out a 6sec gap over Worth at the chequered flag.  The second race saw Mark Goodings make the grid and able to take the battle to Carson.  With Carson leading from the opening lap and Goodings in 4th place giving the spectators yet more reason to stay on their feet.  Lap3, Goodings was up into 2nd place, a little over 4sec back from Carson.  Consistently lapping quicker than Carson Goodings was able to close the gap to just 1sec by Lap8 before making his move on the penultimate lap and pass Carson then stretch out a 2sec advantage by Lap10 and the chequered flag.

Carson had his opportunity to show his dominance in the combined 700cc Twins/Pre-Electronic 600 races.  The first race saw Jim Hodson lead the opening three laps until Carson made his way through from 4th on Lap1, 3rd on Lap2, 2nd on Lap3 and hitting the front on Lap4 and stretching out a lead to almost 7sec by  the end of the 8lap race.  Behind Hodson was able to keep Andy Whale at bay for 2nd place, by just 0.09sec, whilst Adam Sheriff followed the trio home in Overall 4th, but the first Pre-Electronic machine across the line, 3sec back.  The second encounter saw Whale at the head of the pack, with Sheriff, 2nd, Nick Clare, 3rd (Winsford) and Carson, 4th.  Carson moved through the group into 2nd spot by Lap3 then set about reducing the gap to Whale, which on Lap3 was 3.7sec.  By Lap7 the gap was just 0.4sec, before Carson made his move on Lap8 and pulled out a gap of 5sec at the flag.

Finishing off the action and fans of the three-wheeled sidecar outfits saw the Champions of 2022 rule the roost in both classes Howard Baker/Mike Killingsworth (Sutton Coldfield/Lincolnshire) recorded two start-finish victories on their Formula 600 outfit.  Current Open Sidecar Champions Steve Thomas/Danny Lewis (Wirral) could only follow in the Baker/Killingsworth wake throughout both encounters, finishing 13sec behind, in the first and 6sec back in the final race.

With all the two and three wheeled race action covered for Round 4 we can look forward to Round 5, which isn’t too far away, on Sunday 10th September 2023.

 As usual the action on track will begin at 10am, with the first race scheduled for 11.30am. Advance tickets at are available now, just visit Adults £13, Seniors £10 or On The Day prices of £16 and £12, respectively.  

Championship Standings (after Round 4)

Open Solos

1st Matthew Bell, 57pts; 2nd Mark Goodings, 37pts; 3rd Daniel Stubbs, 35pts

Open Sidecars

1st Keith Waddington/Mick Storey, 46pts; 2nd Steve Thomas/Danny Lewis, 45pts; 3rd Anthony Eades/Hannah Brunton, 22pts

Lightweight Solos

1st Peter Fell, 57pts; 2nd Kyle McKinna-Brown, 30pts; 3rd Iain Davis, 18pts

Formula 600

1st Mark Goodings, 31pts; 2nd David Carson, 27pts; 3rd Matthew Rostron, 24pts

Formula 600 Sidecar

1st Howard Baker/Mike Killingsworth, 52pts; 2nd Bill Roberts/Nick Roberts, 33pts; 2nd Dan Knight/Ben Hughes, 30pts

Pre-Electronic 600/750 Twin

1st Adam Sheriff, 57pts; 2nd Nick Clare, 40pts; 3rd Rich Chivers-Jarvis,24pts

700 Twins

1st David Carson, 45pts; 2nd Anthony Thane, 37pts; 3rd Ben Wilkinson, 34pts

Honda CB500 & Suzuki Bandit

1st Matt Zschiesche, 50pts; 2nd Aaron Howe, 40pts; 2nd Jordan Poole, 36pts

Pre-Injection Open Solo

1st Stuart Bradbury, 57pts; 2nd Rich Chivers-Jarvis, 37pts; 3rd Ian McKenzie, 24pts

Forgotten Era & Classic 1300

1st Mark Brailsford, 42pts; 2nd Adam Sheriff, 39pts; 3rd Martin Davis, 10pts

Forgotten Era 500 & Classic 500

1st Steve Price, 45pts; 2nd Mike Lees, 26pts; 3rd Paul Hawksworth, 22pts

Forgotten Era & Classic 250

1st Iain Davis, 42pts; 2nd Andy Bailey, 24pts; Chris Barton, 15pts

Wilson Trophy 2023

1st Peter Fell, 45pts; 2nd Aaron Howe, 39pts, 3rd Matt Zschiesche, 34pts

Darley Cup 2023

1st David Carson, 45pts; 2nd Adam Green, 35pts; 3rd Stephen England, 24pts

Ben Godfrey Trophy 2023

1st Matthew Bell, 47pts; 2nd Mark Goodings, 42pts; 3rd Daniel Stubbs, 31pts

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