What a fantastic weekend for Darley Moor Motor Cycle Road Race Club’s double header when they held Rounds 4 and 5 of their Championship at the Darley Moor Motor Sports Centre, near Ashbourne (DE6 2ET) last weekend, 4th – 5th August. Superb racing, amazing weather and then the circuit even got a mention on BT Sport’s coverage of the weekend’s MotoGP Round, when a comparison was made to the World Championship forthcoming Round at the Red Bull Ring in Austria! Round 4 Saturday 4th August
Whilst Saturday’s competitor and spectator entries may have been less than Sunday’s those that were able to come along were still treated to some excellent racing, several competitors benefitting from absentees and taking double class victories.
The two Formula 600 races being the highlight for spectators with the closest finishes, both races being won by Carl Booth (Swadlincote), but a look at the lap charts tell you that they were certainly not easy. The first saw Rich Baker (Crewe) lead across the line for the first half of the race, with Booth and Chris Sammons (Chesterfield) close behind. A small error on lap 5, cost Baker just 2sec and allowed the chasing pair through, Booth’s advantage over Sammons just 0.75sec. Sammons closed the gap on Booth to just 0.11sec at the chequered flag, helped by posting the fastest lap on Lap6, whilst another error from Baker on the penultimate lap dropped him down to 5th place. Booth was quicker off the start in their second race, leading from the first lap, with Baker and Sammons battling it out throughout the race. The trio split by just 0.73sec at the flag, Baker taking 2nd spot by 0.19sec from Sammons.
The first Peak Cup race was another close finish between the top two, Harry Jackson (Mansfield) taking the victory after a race long battle with Ben Scranage (Bolton) in which the pair were separated by little more than 0.3sec, but after recording the fastest lap of the race, on the final lap, the victory margin was just under 1sec at the chequered flag. The pair were then battling again in the first Open Solo race, Scranage leading across the line after the opening lap, with Jackson just 0.26sec behind and finding a way through on Lap2. Scranage then fought his way pass to lead from Lap4, recording the fastest lap of the race on Lap5 he was then able to stretch out a winning margin of 2.5sec at the flag. The pair then continued their battle in the second Peak Cup race, this time a 10lap race in which both competitors were to lead across the line on five occasions each. Jackson was the quicker starter and led Laps1-3, until Scranage found a way pass on Lap4, they then swapped places each lap until Scranage hit the front on Lap8 and held the lead to the chequered flag, helped by recording the quickest lap of the day on Lap9, 56.04sec, stretching the winning margin to 2.87sec. The second Open Solo race was, in comparison, a much more mundane affair with Scranage taking a flag-to-flag victory, over Jackson, with a victory margin of 10sec at the flag.
The opening Steel Framed 600/Pre-Injection 600 race saw another race-long battle between Andrew Lowe (Stone) on his Pre-Injection machine and Ant Porter (Chesterfield) on his Steel Framed machine. Lowe was the quicker starter and led the opening lap, but Porter fought his way through to lead Laps2 – 6 only for Lowe to retake the lead when it mattered most, the penultimate and final lap, with a winning margin of 1.3sec. The second race was a little more straightforward for Lowe, taking a start-finish victory over Porter, finishing 3.3sec ahead at the flag.
Mark Brailsford (Chesterfield) took two flag-to-flag Overall victories in the combined Classic/Formula125 races on his Classic 1000 machine, Craig Milner (Alfreton) and David Bradley (Matlock) following him ‘home’ on both occasions, 2nd and 3rd respectively. After a race long Classic 250 battle in the opening race Geoff Hadwin (Cumbria) got the better of Glenn Atkinson (Northampton), the pair finishing 4th and 5th Overall. A similar scenario occurred in the second race but Corey Tinker (Ipswich) the first Formula 125 machine home, after finishing 7th Overall in the first
encounter, upped his pace in the second and took 4th Overall, leaving Hadwin/Atkinson battling for 5th. Derek Butler (Cumbria) was the first Classic 500 home on both occasions, recording an 8th place and 9th place in the two races. Brailsford was also out in the combined CB500/Formula Darley/Lightweight races, but on this occasion, he had to settle for two 3rd places in class, on his CB500 machine, Overall 5th and 6th respectively. James Ford (High Peak) took the Overall victory on both occasions on his Lightweight machine. Martin Robbins (Worcester) was the first Formula Darley machine home in the opening race, 3rd Overall, whilst Tony Griffiths (Pontypridd) had the honour in the second race, finishing 2nd Overall.
Except for the opening lap of the first race Howard Baker/Mike Killingsworth (Sutton Coldfield/Lincs) led all the laps of Sidecar races on their 600cc outfit, to take both victories. Roger Stockton/Bradley Stockton (Winsford/Crewe), on their 600cc outfit were the quicker pairing off the line in that opening race, but a mistake on Lap2 dropped them down to 5th place, but they were able to make up a couple of places to 3rd, behind Roy Tansley/Jack Fox (Derby), the first 1000cc outfit home. The second race saw Anthony Eades/Keith Box 4th on the opening lap, but able to make their way up to 2nd spot, overall, by Lap4 and hold the position to the flag, to take the 1000cc class win, after Tansley/Fox failed to complete Lap4.
The combined Pre-Injection (Up to 1300cc)/Mini Sound of Thunder race saw Adam Walters (Derby) take a flag-to-flag victory on his Pre-Injection machine, enjoying a 9sec advantage at the chequered flag over Anthony Froggatt (Worksop) on a similar machine. The second race saw Froggatt lead, ahead of Walters, with Jamie Pearson (Derby) in 3rd place, for the opening two laps. Pearson then fought his way pass both to take the lead on Lap3 and stretch out a 7sec lead at the flag. Froggatt was able to maintain his advantage over Walters on this occasion to secure 2nd again, with Walters having to settle for 3rd. The first Mini Sound of Thunder machine home, on both occasions, was that of Elliot Williams (Flintshire) in 6th place Overall. Round 5 Sunday 6th August
The close racing continued into Sunday, with some epic battles between Ben Scranage and Harry Jackson again, but the closest finish of the weekend came in the opening Steel Framed 600/Pre-Injection 600 race with the victory margin just 0.05sec! Andrew Lowe was the faster off the start-line, ending Lap1 with a 0.7sec advantage over fellow Pre-Injection mounted Joe Walton (Preston), this was to be the biggest advantage for the 8Lap race. Walton had reduced the gap to 0.3sec at the end of Lap2, then the pair crossed line together on Lap3; Lap4 Lowe had got his 0.3sec advantage again, then Lap5 Walton was closing, 0.16sec this time and finding a way pass on Lap6 with a 0.1sec advantage over Lowe. Lowe was then back through again on Lap7, 0.2sec ahead, only for Walton to regain the lead on the final lap and take the victory by 0.05sec! All Lowe’s Saturday challenger, Ant Porter, on a Steel Framed ma-chine, could do was protect his overall 3rd place from Andrew Scanlon’s (Thatcham) Pre-Injection machine. This pair finishing 2.5sec behind the leaders, split by just 0.07sec! The second race saw Dave Marsden (Birkenhead) get off the line quickest on his Steel Framed machine, leading for the opening two laps, from Walton and Lowe. Walton hit the front on Lap3, then Lowe passed Marsden into 2nd place on Lap4. Lowe then hit the front on Lap6 and was able to hold a 0.5sec advantage to the flag, with Walton 2nd. The Steel Framed victory went to Ant Porter who had squeezed by Marsden on the final lap.
Sidecar fans were treated to some fantastic close racing between the teams of Tansley/Fox, on an Open class outfit and the two Formula 600 outfits of Roger Stockton/Bradley Stockton and Howard Baker/Mike Killingsworth. The opening race saw Roy Tansley/Jack Fox lead across the start-line on the first six laps, but the Baker/Killingsworth outfit was within 0.5sec each time until they squeezed through to lead on Lap7, as Tansley/Fox were passed by the Stockton/Stockton machine, which then took the challenge to the leaders. Unfortunately, the Tansley/Fox machine failed to finish Lap8, but the Stockton’s then fought their way to the front on the penultimate lap and held on to win by just 0.23sec. The second race saw a race-long battle, the Stockton’s’ leading across the start-line on all but Lap4 of the 10lap race, but Baker/Killingsworth were no more than 0.5sec behind throughout the race, the Tansley/Fox outfit lying 3rd throughout, a short distance back. The first 1000cc outfit home, on both occasions, was that of Anthony Eades/Keith Box, 4th in the first race, but thanks to a 10second penalty given to Tansley/Fox, for jumping the start in the second race, this demoted them to 4th place, promoting Eades/Box to 3rd Overall and the class victory.
The opening Peak Cup race saw Harry Jackson start quickest and lead the opening lap, then Scranage passed him on the second lap and slowly stretched out an advantage of 1.85sec at the chequered flag. The first Open Solo again saw Jackson lead for 4 laps, Scranage down in 4th at the end of Lap1, but finding his way through and hitting the front on Lap5. The pair exchanged the lead throughout the remaining laps, but despite recording his fastest lap on the final lap Jackson could only get within 0.6sec of Scranage at the flag. A similar scenario occurred in the remaining Peak Cup and Open Solo races, Jackson would be the quicker off the line, only for Scranage to catch him and take the lead at mid-race distance and stretch out a winning margin of 4sec and 5sec. The second Peak Cup race saw Scranage record the fastest lap of the weekend, 55.3sec. Add these four victories to Saturday’s three and Scranage was the top points scorer for the weekend, extending his lead in the Open Solo class and reducing Jackson’s advantage in the Peak Cup to just 3points.
Another four times victor on Sunday was Jamie Pearson, but these were a little more comfortable than those of Scranage. Pearson’s first win came in the Formula 600 class; Saturday’s double victor Carl Booth quickest off the line and leading the field at the end of Lap1 with Pearson in 2nd. Pearson finding a way past and leading from Lap2, stretching out a 6sec advantage at the flag. Booth dropping down to 3rd place on Lap4 when Chris Sammons moved into 2nd place, the riders maintaining their position to the flag. The second race saw Pearson lead from the off, with Rich Baker, 2nd and Sammons, 3rd for four laps, then Sammons moved into 2nd place on the penultimate lap, finishing 5sec behind Pearson, with Baker a further 1.2sec back. Pearson then took a start-finish victory in the opening Pre-Injection (Up To 1300cc)/Mini Sound of Thunder race, ahead of Anthony Froggatt on another Pre-Injection machine. Froggatt was the quicker starter in the second race, hanging on to the lead for the opening two laps, until Pearson hit the front and stretched out a winning margin of 7.5sec at the flag, once again Froggatt brought his machine home in 2nd. Continuing his performance from Saturday Elliot Williams was the first Mini Sound of Thunder machine home in both races, taking his class victory tally to four wins for the weekend.
The first combined Classics/Formula 125 race provided some very close racing; Craig Milner, on his Classic 1000 machine, led the opening four laps, firstly with Mark Brailsford on another Classic 1000 race bike, trying to chase him down until Chris Moore (High Peak) on a Classic 350 machine was making up for a slower start. Finishing the opening lap in 4th, he then moved into 3rd on the second lap, 2nd on Lap4, then moved into the Overall lead on the fifth lap. Brailsford was then able to pass Milner on Lap7 and hold onto the lead and take the Classic 1000 victory. With Moore not making the grid in the second race Brailsford took a start-finish victory, from Milner. The first Formula 125 machine on both occasions was, once again, Corey Tinker, recording two 5th places. Geoff Hadwin was top Classic 250 competitor again, with 6th and 4th place, whilst Derek Butler repeated his Classic 500 victories with two Top 10 finishes.
Fans of Grand Prix style 250cc machines had a treat when High Peak racers Moore and James Ford headed the first of the combined CB500/Formula Darley/Lightweight races. Ford led across the start-line on the first 3 laps until Moore took over the end of lap honour on Lap4, then after recording the fastest lap of the race on the next lap he stretched out a winning margin of 2.4sec over Ford. Tony Griffiths had the ‘best seat in the house’ watching the pair from just a short distance away in 3rd place, highest placed Formula Darley machine. Neither Light-weight competitors made the grid for the second race leaving Griffiths to record a start-finish victory, very closely followed home by Martin Robbins on a similar machine. Daz Bellworthy was the first CB500 machine home on both occasions, recording a in 4th place and the first race, going one better in the second with 3rd Overall.
Now, if Round 6 can get anywhere near the quality of racing and weather these Rounds gave fans you will not want to miss it, Sunday 16th September is the date, see you there! Practice will be scheduled to start at 10am and the first race anticipated to start at 11.30am. 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/
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. 2018 Championship standings (After 5 Rounds) Peak Cup
1st Harry Jackson, 58pts; 2nd Ben Scranage, 55pts; 3rd Richard Eglin, 30pts; Open Solo
1st Ben Scranage, 72pts; 2nd Harry Jackson, 54pts; 3rd Richard Eglin, 32pts; Open Sidecars
1st Anthony Eades/Keith Box, 58pts; 2nd Steve Thomas/Neil Aslaksen, 40pts; 3rd Roy Tansley/Chris Judge, 30pts; Formula 600
1st Jamie Pearson, 39pts; 2nd Carl Booth, 28pts; 3rd Lloyd Shelley, 27pts Formula Darley
1st Martin Robbins, 58pts; 2nd Tony Griffiths, 51pts; 3rd Kyal Tinker, 18pts; Formula 125
1st McCauley Longmore, 50pts; 2nd Corey Tinker, 36pts; 3rd Calum Beach, 30pts; Formula 600 Sidecars
1st Roger Stockton/Bradley Stockton, 57pts; 2nd Tony Baker/Mike Killingsworth, 48pts; 3rd Alan Crowe/Karen Williams, 28pts Steel Framed 600
1st Anthony Porter, 72pts; 2nd Dave Marsden, 63pts; 3rd Steve Price, 23pts Pre-Injection 600
1st Andrew Lowe, 56pts; 2nd Joe Walton, 47pts; 3rd Andrew Scanlon, 40pts Mini Sound of Thunder
1st Eliot Williams, 76pts; 2nd David Carson, 48pts; 3rd Ian Robinson, 21pts CB500
1st Daz Bellworthy, 63pts; 2nd Andy Whale, 56pts; 3rd Mark Brailsford, 33pts Pre-Injection (Up to 1300cc)
1st Jamie Pearson, 72pts; 2nd Anthony Froggatt, 46pts; 3rd Adam Walters, 37pts Classic 250
1st Geoff Hadwin, 81pts; 2nd Glenn Atkinson, 54pts; 3rd Bill Butler, 28pts Classic 350
1st Chris Moore, 27pts; 2nd Mark Cockerton, 25pts; 3rd Simon Collins, 24pts Classic 500
1st Derek Butler, 40pts; 2nd Dave McCoy, 33pts; 3rd Oliver Presswood, 21pts Classic 1000
1st David Bradley, 58pts; 2nd Mark Brailsford,36pts; 3rd Craig Milner, 33pts Lightweight
1st James Ford, 54pts; 2nd Chris Moore, 36pts; 3rd Samuel Grief, 12pts
Report by Brian George
Photos by Tony Else Photography