McGuinness, Amor and Dunlop headline Stars at Darley this weekend29/09/2011
By Brian George
Image by Honda Racing
Honda TT Legends riders John McGuinness and Keith Amor, plus William Dunlop, are the headline acts at this weekend's Stars at Darley meeting and will ride alongside regulars Shane Pearson, Richard Wardle and Jim Hodgson.
With six champions still to be decided you can once again expect to see superb racing, but add in a host of British Championship competitors and
several big stars from the pure road racing scene and the Adult entry fee of £15 (*) offers excellent value for money. If you cannot get to the circuit on Sunday then you will have the opportunity to see everybody during Saturday practice for no more than £6 (*).
The two 10 lap ‘Stars at Darley’ races will see the Honda TT Legends Team of McGuiness and Keith Amor, and Wilson Craig Honda's Dunlop; Profile Racing’s Luke Stapleford (Sinope, Coalville); James McBride (Kettering), PB Motorsport; Tom Fisher (Nottingham) Team Green G&S Racing and the Buildbase BMW Superbike Team of Richard Cooper (Hucknell), Barry Burrell (Bishop Auckland) and Lee Jackson (Lincoln) all battling it out with Darley regulars such as Pearson (Derby), Wardle (Stoke on Trent) and this year’s Peak Cup and Open Solo Champion Hodson (Wigan).
With six champions still to be decided there will be plenty of action throughout the day and with local competitors in with a shout of lifting the silverware come along and offer your support. Ben Godfrey (Long Eaton) and Chris Spooner (Stoke on Trent) will be trying to stop Rob Hodson (Wigan) becoming Lightweight Champion. Godfrey is currently 2nd, just 5 points behind, whilst Spooner has a much harder task being 18 points adrift.
Yet another Hodson is leading the GP125 Championship, Jamie, currently holds a 7 point advantage over Andrew Fisher (Kettering), while Ricky Tarren (Tamworth) has a 14 point gap to reduce.
There is an 8 point cushion at the head of the Open Sidecar Championship for Anthony Eades/Iain Greensmith (Hyde) but with the dominant performance of Allen Schofield/Steve Thomas (Bromborough/Birkenhead) at the last round they certainly showed they have not given up on the laurels.
The Pre-Injection 600 Championship will definitely going to a local racer with current leader Gavin Salt (Leek) holding a 10 point lead over Jon Skelson (Leicester).
Richard Wardle (Stoke on Trent) has a healthy 17 point advantage in the Formula 600 standings, but with 18 points available if mechanical gremlins or bad luck strike him it may help Jim Hodson (Wigan) become a triple champion.
With the absence of Jamie Medhurst (Long Eaton) at recent Rounds James Ford (Whaley Bridge) has all but secured the Sound of Thunder Championship, holding an 18 point lead, if Medhurst returns this weekend he will need to win and Ford fail to score any points to be in with a chance of lifting the title.
Whilst the remaining Championships may have been decided there will be some tense battles for the Runner-Up places. Anthony Porter (Chesterfield) is another double Champion - Mini Sound of Thunder and Formula Darley classes, but the Runner-Up spot in Formula Darley currently has Rob Hodson holding a 2 point advantage over Chris Spooner.
Roy Hanks/Julie Hanks-Elliott (Birmingham) are the FII Sidecar Champions, but Christopher Schofield/Daniel Schofield (Rossendale) hold just a 1 point lead over Dean Banks/James Stonier (Stone).
Steve Price (Cheadle) is this year’s Steel Framed 600 Champion and Dave Thomasson (Nantwich) holds a slender 6 point lead over Dean Ephgrave (Hucknall), but Chris Sammons (Chesterfield) has only competed in two Rounds this year and won each time, he could easily turn a 13 point deficit around and finish in the Runner-Up spot.
Wez Pearce (Derby) is the Pre 98 (Up to 500cc) Champion and Kev Cooper (Stoke on Trent) the Pre 98 (Up to 1300cc) Champion, but the battle behind Cooper see’s Gavin Heath (Leek) with a 12 point advantage over Jon Skelson (Leicester).
Last year’s Stars meeting had to be abandoned on safety grounds after suffering from a rare race day sight at Darley – heavy rainfall. According to the weather reports spectators could well be in t-shirts and shorts for this year’s meeting, so why not get along to Darley for this superb finale before the long range forecasts bring the snow in few weeks’ time!
Saturday Practice will be between 10.00am – 5.00pm, with an Untimed practice for Stars competitors between 2.00pm – 3.00pm. On Sunday practice will start at 10.00am, with Timed practice for the Stars races scheduled for approx. 11.15am and the first race at 12.00 noon.
(*)Entrance admission on Saturday; Adults £6.00, Senior Citizens £3.00, kids under 16 free. Sunday admission; Adults £15.00, Senior Citizens £8.00, as always parking & paddock transfer free, with Programmes £3.00.
Advanced tickets are available from www.darleymoorstore.co.uk at a special rate of £13.00 (Senior Citizens £7.00) for the Sunday, £5.00 (Senior Citizens £2.00) for Saturday.
Food is available throughout both days at the ‘Darley Diner’. Camping and caravanning is available from Friday night through to Monday at a cost of £5 per night.
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