What a way to finish the 2015 Darley Moor Motorcycle Road Race Championship season off – with the offer of
some top class road racers providing fantastic racing and a positive weather forecast the spectators flocked to
the Darley Moor circuit, near Wyaston, Ashbourne, last weekend.
Once again, reigning Champion Peter Hickman (Louth) proved to be THE Star of Darley, winning both Stars
races, although not at the expected race distances. The first race saw John McGuinness (Morecombe) lead
away from the line and hold on for the first lap, when, 2013 Star of Darley, Richard Cooper (Nottingham)
squeezed by on the second lap. The slightly slower starting, Hickman was lying 4th after that first lap, but
moved into 3rd on the second lap, harrowing the now demoted McGuinness. Moving into 2nd spot on the third
lap, Hickman then set after Cooper, leaving McGuinness to battle it out with fellow Honda Racing team-mate,
Michael Rutter (Bridgenorth). At the head of the field there was then the potential for a mouth-watering battle
between the two most recent Stars of Darley. Hickman hit the front on the fifth lap, after breaking the outright
Darley Moor Lap Record with a 52.66sec lap! Unfortunately, the battle failed to materialise after Cooper slid
off, on the sixth lap, trying to re-take Hickman, causing the race to be red-flagged at half distance. Rather than
restarting the race it was decided to add the remaining five laps to the second race.
There was a similar opening lap in the second race, McGuinness quickest off the line and Hickman finishing the
first lap in 4th place, with Dan Kneen lying 2nd and Rutter 3rd. By the end of the second lap Hickman was up into
2nd place and chasing down McGuinness. Again Hickman hit the front on the fifth lap, whilst McGuinness, this
time around succumbed to the pressure from his team-mate on the eighth lap. As Rutter tried to chase
Hickman down, managing to get almost 0.5sec behind him, the longer race provided them an issue of
backmarkers, and it was Hickman who found the quicker way through, opening up a gap of 2.5sec at the finish
and the 2015 Star of Darley title.
In addition to the headlining ‘Stars’ races there was another special trophy to be awarded at the weekend, the
Jake Hingley Trophy, in memory of a young racer who started his racing career at Darley Moor in June 2012.
Unfortunately, Jake’s career came to an untimely end at Cadwell Park in August 2014, aged just 22, but hisfamily and friends wanted him remembered in the best possible way, the Trophy and prize fund being awarded,
by his father Neil Hingley (Darlaston), to the overall winner of the Steel Framed 600/Pre Injection race. Whilst
Andy Lowe (Stone) had already secured the Pre Injection 600 Championship the Steel Framed Championship
was being headed by Anthony Porter (Chesterfield) by 15 points over Dean Ephgrave (Hucknall). With Lowe
securing a flag to flag overall victory, confirming his dominance in the Pre Injection class, Antony Porter moved
into 3rd place overall on Lap 3 and set about closing the gap on Nick Colley (Hull), on a Pre Injection machine,
while Ephgrave had to make up for a slow start. By Lap 5 Ephgrave moved into 4th place, behind Porter, but was
not able to close the gap, then his challenge came to an end when he failed to complete the tenth lap.
The Peak Cup race saw two guest riders from the Stars races line-up with the regular runners, Keenan
Armstrong (Doncaster), a National Superstock competitor and Lee Jackson (Swadlincote) a British Superbike
competitor, although neither scoring any points. With just five points separating the top two, Newcastle under
Lyme racers, Brendan Brown and Simon Bowyer, this was always going to be an exciting race. As could be
expected the two national riders finished 1st and 2nd although with Armstrong taking a superb flag to flag victory
on the smaller 600cc machine, from Jackson’s 1000cc bike, but it did take Jackson four laps before he disposed
of Bowyer’s effort. Bowyer continued to circulate in 3rd place with Jim Hodson (Wigan) shadowing his every
move, up until the final lap when he was able to pass him. However, Bowyer had plenty of reason to celebrate
after his normal challenger Brown was languishing down in 8th place throughout the race, with the extra points
available at this round Bowyer was able to turn a 5 point deficit into a 27 point victory margin for the
Brown would get another chance to lift a title in the Open Solo class, the pair in the same order going into the
final Round, this time Brown having 15 point advantage over Bowyer. Carl Morris (Etwall) left everybody in his
wake as he completed an excellent start to finish victory, finishing over 13 seconds ahead of Jim Hodson, who
had to pass the championship challengers in the early stages. Brown finished in 3rd place, but Bowyer, who
followed him across the line 0.5sec behind, enough for Brown to be crowned Champion, was given a 10 second
penalty for jumping the start, dropping him down to 6th place.
The Sound of Thunder race spelt disaster for championship leader, Lloyd Shelley (Burntwood), who went into
the race with a slim 9 point lead over Paul Gibbs (Buxton). Shelley led for the first two laps until Gibbs came
past him. In order to lift the Championship Shelley had to win and after dropping nearly 2 seconds back at one
point he managed to get to within 0.15sec of Gibbs, going into the penultimate lap. Disaster struck and he
failed to finish that final lap, handing Gibbs the Championship and losing out on 2nd in the standings to GaryHenriksen (Matlock), who finished a distant 2nd in the race. Alongside these machines there was another title at
stake, Mini Sound of Thunder Championship saw Brad Vicars (Tadcaster) with an 11 point advantage over
Northwich’s David Carson. Stars runner Daley Mathison (Northern Ireland) had bought a second machine over
to compete in the class and was able to stay ahead of the Vicars/Carson battle to take the class win, although
not scoring any points. Vicars was able to shadow Mathison throughout the race, but never close enough to
challenge for the lead, although it did help him put distance between himself and Carson, allowing him to lift the
title with a 23 point advantage.
The Vicars/Carson battle was to continue in the combined Formula Darley/Lightweight/GP125 race, Vicars with a
22 point advantage going into the race. However, with Carson not making it to the grid Vicars could enjoy the
race without worrying about any challenge. Bruce Dunn (Spalding) recorded a flag to flag overall victory on his
Lightweight machine, which catapulted him into 2nd place in the standings, thanks to the extra points on offer at
this final Round. Vicars followed him home in 2nd place Overall, with the already crowned Lightweight
Champion, Chris Moore (High Peak) coming home in a distant 3rd place. After his Peak Cup disappointment
Brendan Brown was still able to become a multiple Champion after taking the GP125 Championship title.
Coming into the meeting Brown enjoyed a 28 point lead in the Championship and was able to stay just ahead of
any competition from the class, although Emma Franklin (Peterborough) came out on top in a race long battle
with Derek Clark (Hull), Runner-Up in the final standings.
Chris Moore was also in action on the same machine, in the Pre 98’s (up to 500cc) class, in which he enjoyed a 27
point advantage. Racing alongside these were the (Up to 1300cc) machines, with Virgil Stephenson (Derby)
having a 30 point lead in his respected class. Whilst both championship leaders secured flag to flag class
victories, Stephenson had Tim Poole (Northwich) trying to chase him down, finishing just 1.2sec behind at the
Both Sidecar Championships were still to be decided and spectators had the added attraction of former World
Champions Ben and Tom Birchall (Mansfield) having a run out on their 600cc outfit. Unsurprisingly, they
recorded a comfortable victory, only being headed on the opening lap. Heading into the race championship
leaders, by 7 points, Anthony Eades/Nick Roberts (Hyde) would not realise how short their challenge would last.
Failing to complete the second lap, the pairing could only watch as rivals Ray Thomas/ Neil Aslaksen
(Birkenhead) were able to bring their Open class machine home in 5th place, the first Open machine, handing
them the Championship. Formula 600 Sidecar Championship leaders, Howard Baker/Mike Killingsworth (Sutton Coldfield/Lincs) lasted until the final lap before their race was curtailed, but their challengers John Chandler/Karl
Schofield (Knaresborough) could only manage 6th place overall, closing the gap to 11 points to the head of the
The final Darley Moor Road Race Championship race of the day was for the Formula 600 solos and whilst Lloyd
Shelley was effectively Champion, with the absence of nearest rival Jamie Medhurst, it provided the closest finish
of the day. Rob Hodson (Wigan) leading away from the flag, but being chased by Steven Proctor (Wakefield)
throughout the race until making a move on Lap 13, diving up the inside and managing to hold the advantage to
the flag, taking the victory by 0.88sec, the pair leaving Champion elect, Shelley in 3rd place, almost 20 seconds
Darley Moor M.C.R.R.C., Stars at
Darley, ROUND 8, 11th October 2015
Race 1 (15 Laps) - Supported by Rugeley Alloy Wheel
1 K Armstrong (Kawasaki) 14m
14.21s, 2 L Jackson, 3 S Bowyer, 4 J Hodson, 5 C Morris, 6 S Hill, 7 S Procter,
8 B Brown, 9 K Bond, 10 B Fargher, 11 A Hughes, 12 B Holloway,
13 D Dickinson, 14 B Wales,
15 T Pobjoy, 16 A Barber, 17 N McLaren, 18 J Horner,
19 C Hough.
SOUND OF THUNDER
Race 2 / 2A (15 Laps) – Supported by Pennine Tea
1 P Gibbs (Triumph) 14m
42.21s, 2 G Henriksen, 3 T Poole, 4 D Mathison, 5 B Vicars,
6 M Tomkinson, 7 M
Bainbridge, 8 D Carson, 9 A Jones, 10 K Sheriff, 11 C Hough.
STEEL FRAME 600 & PRE-INJECTION 600
Race 3 / 3A (15 Laps) - Supported by Lee Marsh
1 A Lowe (Yamaha) 15m 34.28s,
2 A Porter, 3 N Colley, 4 S Hood, 5 C North,
6 A Desmond, 7 S Price, 8 S
Woodward, 9 D Morton, 10 J Skelson, 11 R Shipley,
12 M Sumner, 13 D Millner,
14 T Brampton, 15 W Bradbury, 16 A Salt.
LIGHTWEIGHT, FORMULA DARLEY & 125cc GP
Race 4 / 4A (15 Laps) – Supported by Brookside Press
Design & Print Ltd Derby
1 B Dunn (Yamaha) 15m
33.70s, 2 B Vicars, 3 C Moore, 4 K Sheriff, 5 D Spruce,
6 C Hough, 7 B Brown, 8 E
Franklin, 9 D Clark, 10 M Rees, 11 J Gerrad, 12 N Gilman,
13 N Lloyd, 14 J Bream, 15 S
Taylor, 16 M Robbins, 17 A Smith.
JBMI GROUP STARS AT DARLEY
Race 5 (5 Laps)
1 P Hickman (BMW) 4m 32.67s,
2 J McGuinness, 3 M Rutter, 4 D Kneen, 5 T Fisher,
6 D Mathison, 7 K Armstrong,
8 L Jackson, 9 D Cooper, 10 B Mellor, 11 R Hodson,
12 S Bowyer, 13 B Brown, 14
D Hill, 15 S Procter, 16 C Morris, 17 S Hill, 18 A Redmond.
Race 10 (15 Laps)
1 P Hickman (BMW) 13m
37.54s, 2 M Rutter, 3 J McGuinness, 4 D Kneen, 5 T Fisher,
6 B Mellor, 7 D Mathison, 8
K Armstrong, 9 L Jackson, 10 D Cooper, 11 S Procter,
12 R Hodson, 13 A Redmond.
Race 6 (8 Laps)
1 D Clark (Gas Gas A’son) 7m
54.18s, 2 A Holmes, 3 T Hatfield, 4 C Johnson,
5 B Weston, 6 P Hewitt, 7 A Sifleet,
8 L Sifleet, 9 S Morris, 10 K Cattermole, 11 D Chan, 12 J Lock, 13 A Mitchell,
14 T Riley, 15 J Wrigley, 16 A Flewitt, 17 J Faulkner, 18 S O’Neil, 19 N
Race 13 (6 Laps)
1 D Clark (Gas Gas A’son) 5m
52.70s, 2 A Holmes, 3 P Hewitt, 4 T Hatfield, 5 M Gellatly, 6 L Sifleet, 7 D
Chan, 8 K Cattermole, 9 D Watts, 10 J Coward, 11 J Lock, 12 T Riley,
13 N Barton, 14 B Weston, 15
J Faulkner, 16 S O’Neil, 17 A Connor, 18 S Morris.
Race 7 (15 Laps) - Supported by Two Wheel Centre
1 C Morris (Yamaha) 14m
22.08s, 2 J Hodson, 3 B Brown, 4 A Soar, 5 S Hill, 6 S Bowyer, 7 K Bond, 8 A
Hughes, 9 J Morgan, 10 T Pobjoy, 11 N McLaren, 12 T Warburton.
Race 8 (15 Laps) – Supported by Colourserve Woodcare
1 V Stevenson (Yamaha) 15m 01.61s,
2 T Poole, 3 J Pearson, 4 A Lowe, 5 M Brailsford,
6 J Skelson, 7 C Moore, 8 A
Clarke, 9 M Wright, 10 D Spruce, 11 J Brooks, 12 M Rees,
13 N Harvey, 14 J Jackson,
15 A Smith, 16 B Smith.
CLASSICS & FORMULA 125
Race 9 / 9A
(15 Laps) – Supported by AS Taylor Transport Barton under Needwood
1 A Redmond (Honda) 17m
04.15s, 2 C Heitman, 3 G Thorpe, 4 G Hadwin, 5 B Smith,
6 G Pidcock, 7 B Prescott, 8
J Halliday, 9 B David.
Race 11 (15 Laps) - Supported by Willow Catering and
the Darley Diner
1 Birchall/Birchall (Honda)
15m 42.69s, 2 Knight/Fishwick, 3 Hanks/Hanks-Elliott, 4 Knight/ Hubert, 5
Thomas/Aslaksen, 6 Chandler/Schofield, 7 Carter/Fox.
Race 12 (15 Laps) – Supported by Henstock Racing
1 S Procter (Yamaha) 14m
32.83s, 2 R Hodson, 3 L Shelley, 4 P Gibbs, 5 B Holloway,
6 J Horner, 7 B Wales, 8 C
Booth, 9 J Holmes, 10 A Barber, 11 S Hood, 12 J Trezins.