After a week of superb weather leading up to Round 2 of the Darley Moor Motor Cycle Road Race Club Championship drew a large crowd for the scheduled 21 race programme on Sunday 12th April. However, this Round was to prove very testing for many, competitors, marshals and the Darley Moor Club.
For some the ‘trials and tribulations’ began before they even arrived at the circuit; leading figure in the Peak Cup and Open Solo class Jim Hodson’s (Wigan) hire van broke down en route and the swift replacement never materialised until Sunday afternoon!
So, with the Peak Cup race kicking the race action off, minus Hodson and Shane Pearson (Derby), who was on duty elsewhere, Tim Poole (Northwich) may have thought he could capitalise and claw back maximum points after sitting out Round 1 with a blown engine. Unfortunately, the start was delayed after a faller on the warm-up lap, then once underway Brendan Brown (Newcastle Under Lyme) was the quickest off the line, with Poole 1.25sec adrift after the first lap. Determined to try for maximum points Poole reduced the gap to a little under 1sec after Lap 2 and just 0.5sec on the third lap, until another rider fell and forced the race to be red flagged.
Jamie Medhurst (Long Eaton) bringing his 600cc machine home in 3rd place. The restart saw another rider crash out on this opening lap and with the machine coming to rest in a position that would have been dangerous for other riders, or marshals to retrieve and so forced the race to be abandoned. Brown and Poole were once again on the grid together in the Open Solo race.
Brown repeated his quick start and Poole having to chase him down once more. On this occasion he had 8 laps to try and pass Brown, but all to no avail and after staying within 0.5sec throughout most of the race, finally finished just over 2 seconds adrift at the flag. The second Peak Cup race saw Poole ‘out of the blocks’ fastest, finishing lap 1 0.2sec ahead of Medhurst and managing to stay at the front, albeit with the 600cc machine in very close pursuit for the 10 lap duration, finishing 0.59sec behind at the flag, with Brown over 3 seconds back.
The combined Steel Framed 600/Pre Injection 600 race provided a thrilling race with Dean Ephgrave (Hucknall) SF600, leading from Richard Stubbs(Stone), on a Pre Injection machine and Anthony Porter (Chesterfield), SF600, separated by just 0.6sec after Lap 1. On the second lap Ephgrave had dropped to 3rd place with Stubbs taking the lead and stretching it to over 2 sec by lap 7, whilst Ephgrave struggled to find a way past Porter until the final struggled to find a way past Porter until the final lap when he put in a huge effort and found a way through and closed to within 0.7sec at the flag, but with it the Steel Framed class victory.
The combined Sound of Thunder and Lightweight race was another that provided excellent racing yet disappointment for some. At the head of the field Steve Hill (Runcorn), Lloyd Shelley (Burntwood) and Paul Gibbs (Buxton) led the field, on their Sound of Thunder machines, in that order for the first five laps, until Shelley found his way past into the lead on Lap6 and managed to pull out a lead of over 2.5seconds at the flag. David Carson (Northwich) was the first Mini Sound of Thunder machine home, 8th Overall; whilst Alan Jones (Hednesford) benefitted from Chris Moore’s (High Peak) failure to complete Lap 2 for victory in the Lightweight class.
After his performance in the Peak Cup races on his 600 it was no surprise that Jamie Medhurst took victory in the Formula 600 race, although a flag to flag victory it may well have been different if the race had been longer than 8 laps as Richard Wardle (Stoke on Trent) was recovering from a slow start and closed to just 0.17sec at the flag.
Virgil Stevenson (Derby) was another rider to record a flag to flag victory, in the Pre98 (up to 1300cc) class, although if the race had been longer Richard Stubbs (Stone) may have been able to overcome him. Always in 2nd place, by Lap 4 he was 2 seconds down on Stevenson, but when the pair started coming across back markers Stubbs was either more ruthless or had better luck, finally crossing the line just 0.4sec behind. In the Up to 500cc class Chris Moore (High Peak) brought his machine home in 6th place overall, but took the honours for the class.
The combined Formula Darley/125cc race saw David Carson also record a flag to flag victory on his Formula Darley machine, stretching out his lead to over 13sec at the flag. Brendan Brown (Newcastle Under Lyme), out on a totally different machine this time to his earlier races, finished 4th Overall and victory in the 125cc class, although only after Nigel Palmer’s failure to complete the second lap and posting the fastest lap of the race, for his class.
The first Sidecar race kept the crowd on their feet with the fast starting pairing of Tony Thompson/Jack Jones (Wirral) leading for one lap only, on their 1000cc machine, overtaken on the second lap by the similar machine of Ray Thomas/Neil Aslaksen (Birkenhead/Cheshire), with the 600cc machine of Dan Knight/Sam Fishwick (Macclesfield), 3rd and in very close contention.
This pairing stretched out a lead of over 4 seconds by the fourth lap, and then after Knight/Fishwick moved into 2nd place on Lap 6 they reeled the leaders in, on the penultimate lap being just 0.5sec behind. On the final lap disaster struck with Thomas/Aslaksen failing to finish, whilst presumably taking avoiding action Knight/Fishwick slowed, allowing the smaller machine of Thompson/Jones to pass and take the win by just 0.64sec.
The first Classic race provided fantastic entertainment for the spectators, Jamie O’Brien (Liverpool) faster off the line than his Classic 1000cc rival, Anthony Redmond (Manchester), but by mid race distance Redmond had caught up with and managed to squeeze a way past on Lap 5, but O’Brien never gave up and finished just 0.23sec back at the flag. Winners of the smaller categories were; Classic 250 - Dale Shaw (Matlock), Classic 350 John Leese (Stoke on Trent) and Classic 500 Gordon Thorpe (Matlock). In the second race O’Brien was the overall victor, whilst Shaw and Thorpe repeated their class victories and David Glover (Messingham) recorded the Classic 350 win.
Unfortunately, during this race one of the machines suffered an oil leak and spread oil around a large part of the track and whilst marshals worked to clear the spillage using sand and cement dust a single heavy downpour at the worst possible moment, put a stop to their efforts. Hardening the sand/cement dust combination and spreading the untreated patches of oil further still.
In an attempt to help clear the circuit quicker the Sidecar competitors had their second race brought forward, but in one of the rare occasions where more rain would have been a blessing the sun began to shine again, leaving the track in an unsafe condition for the solo riders and forcing the Darley Moor Club to abandon the remaining programme of races.
Obviously, work to clear the track carried on and everything will be back to normal ready for Round 3 of the Championship on 4th May 2015.
Darley Moor – ROUND 2 - 12 April
Race 1 (3 Laps) - Supported by Rugeley Alloy Wheel Centre
1 B Brown (Honda 1000) 3m 06.13s, 2 T Poole, 3
J Medhurst, 4 S Hill, 5 S Bowyer,
6 R Wardle, 7 C Morris, 8 J Tillotson, 9 D Shallcross,
10 S Bingley, 11 S Gibbons,
12 A Finney, 13 A Barber
Race 11 (10 Laps) - Supported by Rugeley Alloy Wheel Centre
1 T Poole (Kawasaki 1000) 9m 51.01s, 2 J
Medhurse, 3 B Brown, 4 R Wardle,
5 C Morris, 6 S Bowyer, 7 S Bingley, 8 J
Tillotson, 9 S Hill, 10 D Shallcross,
11 S Gibbons, 12 D Marsden, 13 M Tomkinson, 14
J Barnett, 15 A Barber,
16 M Wright
Race 2 (8 Laps) - Supported by A S Taylor Transport (Barton under
1 A Redmond (Honda 900) 9m 13.59s, 2 J O’Brien,
3 D Shaw, 4 J Leese,
5 D Glover, 6 G Thorpe, 7 A Wilson
Race 12 - Supported by A S Taylor Transport (Barton under Needwood)
1 J O’Brien (Weslake 850) 9m 27.96s, 2 D Shaw,
3 G Thorpe, 4 D Glover,
5 A Wilson
SF 600 & PI 600
Race 3 / 3A (8 Laps) – Supported by Lee Marsh Designs
1 R Stubbs (Honda 600) 8m 29.43s, 2 D Ephgrave,
3 A Porter, 4 R Wise,
5 M Hudson, 6 A Rees, 7 M Goodfield, 8 C North,
9 J Stonier, 10 P Jackson,
11 M Sumner, 12 T Brampton, 13 S Price, 14 L
Southworth, 15 D Millner
1 D Morris (Honda Anderson) 8m 16.60s, 2 J
Coward, 3 D Priest, 4 L Ellwood,
5 M Gellatley, 6 G James, 7 J Wrigley, 8 A
Flewitt, 9 S Brown, 10 G Thomas
1 D Morris (Honda Anderson) 9m 56.56s, 2 D
Priest, 3 M Gellatley, 4 J Wrigley,
5 G Thomas, 6 S Brown, 7 J Coward
SOUND OF THUNDER & LIGHTWEIGHT
Race 5 / 5 A (8 Laps) – Supported by Pennine Tea & Coffee
1 L Shelly (Triumph 675) 8m 08.86s, 2 S Hill, 3
P Gibbs, 4 M Harwood,
5 G Henriksen, 6 M Tomkinson, 7 J Horner, 8 D
Carson, 9 S Hall, 10 M Bainbridge,
11 A Jones, 12 F Burbidge, 13 C Davis, 14 M
Whelan, 15 C Salvage, 16 D Smith,
17 R Soar, 18 N Lloyd,19 N Gilman
Race 6 (8 Laps) – Supported by Two Wheel Centre & Protyre
1 B Brown (Honda) 7m 57.03s, 2 T Poole, 3 S
Bowyer, 4 C Morris, 5 S Hill,
6 S Bingley, 7 A Redmond, 8 J Tillotson, 9 S
Race 7 (8 Laps)
1 J Medhurst (Kawasaki) 7m 56.56s, 2 R Wardle,
3 L Shelly, 4 P Gibbs,
5 D Shallcross, 6 D Marsden, 7 J Horner, 8 J
Holmes, 9 A Barber, 10 P Wilson
Race 8 / 8A (8 Laps)
1 V Stevenson (Yamaha 1000) 8m 13.59s, 2 R
Stubbs, 3 J Ford, 4 D Ephgrave,
5 K Davis, 6 C Moore, 7 A Bailey, 8 M Hudson, 9
M Brailsford, 10 J P’Brien,
11 M Goodfield, 12 A Jones, 13 J Stonier, 14 M
Wright, 15 F Burbidge,
16 A Woodhouse, 17 M Whelan, 18 D Smith, 19 G
Oakley, 20 C Petty,
21 M Purslow, 22 J Brookes
FORMULA DARLEY & 125cc
Race 9 / 9A (8 Laps) – Supported by Brookside Press Design &
Print Ltd Derby
1 D Carson (Kawasaki ER 650) 8m 43.91s, 2 S
Hall, 3 A Woodhouse, 4 B Brown,
5 M Purslow, 6 R Mortimer, 7 E Williams, 8 S
Taylor, 9 G Mills, 10 J Hind,
11 G Whitman, 12 A Lunt, 13 G Pidcock, 14 A
Race 10 (8 Laps) – Supported by Willow Catering and the Darley
1 Thompson/Jones (TAS Racing 1000) 8m 54.01s,
Knight/Fishwick, 3 Eades/Lacey, 4 Morgan/Morgan, 5 Howles/Dutton, 6
Race 20 (6 Laps) – Supported by Willow Catering and the Darley
1 Thompson/Jones (TAS Racing 1000) 7m 44.95s, 2
3 Morgan/Morgan, 4 Waddington/Box