Old and New at Darley Moor

Old and New at Darley MoorNot content with catering just for motorsport fans of two, three and four wheels the Darley Moor Road Race Club included the sounds of yesteryear last weekend when their programme included the ‘Thunderfest’ time trial.

‘Thunderfest’ showcased machines covering a forty year period, from a 1933 Norton International, belonging to Arthur Parker from Ashbourne, to several Honda’s built in 1973. Rather than racing against each other, following practice and a 10 lap session around the Darley Moor circuit in the morning each rider then had to predict their average speed for the afternoon session, including the Le Mans style start, the rider finishing closest to their estimated time was the winner. Unfortunately, age got the better of Arthur’s machine when it suffered a problem during the morning’s session and only completed 6 laps. However, Derby rider Peter Jordan on his 250cc Royal Enfield, built in1958, finished 8th, just missing his predicted speed by 0.66mph. The ‘Thunderfest’ silverware finally going to Peter Cuckson, from Skelmersdale on his 1973 250cc Honda, finishing just 0.04mph from his prediction!

The Darley Moor Road Race Championship continued to provide superb racing in this penultimate Round, the Formula 600 races taking top honours for excitement, with both races being decided by less than 0.5 sec. Stoke on Trent’s Richard Wardle pipping Nottingham’s Tom Fisher on both occasions to extend his Championship lead to 15 points, with a maximum of 18 points remaining. The battle for 3rd place in each race was just as tight, Chris Sammons, from Chesterfield claiming the ‘double’ over Kevin Cooper, from Stoke on Trent.

The Open Solo class also provided a very close finish in the morning between Derby’s Shane Pearson and Kev Tait, from Loughborough; the two were separated by less than 0.5 sec throughout the entire race, Pearson taking the honours by just 0.21 sec. Tait got his revenge in the afternoon taking the chequered flag by over 3 seconds, therefore keeping the same 10-point gap in the Championship standings. Derby’s Richard Eglin, a race winner in an earlier Round could only follow the pair home in 3rd place each time out.

This trio started the day off with a battle in the first Peak Cup race, Pearson taking the honours over Tait and Eglin, but with Tait taking enough points for the Championship he didn’t come to the grid for the second race, deciding to concentrate on the next Open Solo race, Pearson taking the win from Eglin.

Stonnall’s Gary Dangerfield came out top in the Formula 400 class, benefiting from Championship leader Adrian Kershaw’s (Stockport) failure to finish and taking his first win of the year, followed home by Tony Limer, from Buxton, who also got his best finish of the season, with Stoke’s Chris Spooner taking 3rd place. Their second encounter saw Kershaw 1st, Dangerfield 2nd, Spooner 3rd and Limer 4th.

Adam Hoare, from Loscoe, ensured the Lightweight title was going to go down too the final Round, taking both race victories and closing the gap to just 5 points behind Championship leader Rich Thompson (Derby), who could only record two 4th places.

Pinxton’s Matt Whitehead continued to take comfortable victories in the Sound of Thunder class in the absence of Steve Harper through injury, keeping hold of the Championship title he won last year.

With a 14 point lead in the Open Sidecar Class Graham Bird/Nick Roberts (Cannock/Coventry) appear to have wrestled the Championship away from last year’s Champions Roger Golling and Rob Dean, from Stafford, but there is always the chance that luck could still play it’s part!

Unfortunately local riders did not fair so well in the Formula 125 Class after Nottingham’s Ben Godfrey and Long Eaton’s Luke Frearson failed to complete more than 1 lap between them in their first race.

Darley Moor’s next meeting will be the traditional season finale ‘The Stars at Darley’ event that will see a number of international racers and current British Superbike stars returning to the circuit where they first honed their skills. Top of the list will be last year’s winner, Richard Cooper who was recently drafted into the factory BMW World Superbike Team, as a replacement for the injured Ruben Xaus. Isle of Man TT lap record holder, John McGuinness will be making his annual appearance and with him a host of racers who also excel on the roads based circuits Michael & William Dunlop, Ian Lougher, James McBride, Michael Rutter and former Darley regular John Tattershall returns from his racing on the Irish road circuits. Several regular Darley Moor competitors will be pitting themselves against ‘The Stars’; Richard Wardle has a superbike especially for the meeting, whilst recently returned Jim Hodgson has also entered his machine. The Club Championship races will also be different for this event, instead of the usual two races, one 8 lap and a 6 lap race, this final Round will be contested over one 15 lap race.

Admission for this meeting is £13 for adults, £7 for Senior Citizens, with free admission for Under 16’s, as usual Practice begins at 10.00 AM with the first race expected at 12.00. Programmes cost just £2.50, but trackside parking and Paddock transfer are both free. Food is available throughout the day at the ‘Darley Diner’.

There are special arrangements for camping and caravanning over the weekend, please call 01335 343833 or 01246 866537 for further details.