BEN Godfrey took advantage of a fallen Richard Cooper and powered to the overall Stars at Darley Moor title yesterday as the two shared wins.
A late entry to the famous Darley Moor MCRRC season finale, CPE Motorsport Suzuki rider Godfrey rocked up looking to upset the order and surmount early favourite Cooper on the Bennetts Suzuki.
The former National Superstock 1000 champion and current series runner-up wasn’t about to let the top GSXR spot go easily, however, and stamped his authority with a pole position qualifying lap 0.72 seconds ahead of Godfrey and over a second clear of fellow National regular Tom Fisher.
But disaster struck when Cooper made a rare error on the very first lap of race one, crashing out and handing the lead to Godfrey from Fisher and another National Superstock runner, Leon Jeacock.
Godfrey immediately began stretching a gap over Fisher, leading by nearly three seconds before Jeacock swooped in on lap seven and pushed the Kawasaki rider back to third.
And despite chipping away at the leader, Jeacock eventually had to settle for a runner-up finish just under two seconds adrift of winner Godfrey, with Fisher third.
In a surprising start, Fisher nabbed the early lead in race two, but Cooper was quick to show he was straight back on form and hit the front on lap two as Godfrey gave chase.
Cooper put his head down and extended a five-second advantage at half-distance in the 10-lap scrap, but Godfrey found his rhythm with a few laps to go and reeled in the pint-sized Superstock ace.
The late charge brought Godfrey up less than half a second shy of victory as Cooper took top honours and Jeacock bagged the final rostrum spot, but aggregate positions and time put Godfrey at the top of the leader board to take his first JBMI Group Ltd Stars at Darley title.
“Darley is where the big track racing really started for me ,” he said. “Even when I was a young lad I watched this race with excitement, and today at my first attempt I’ve managed to get my name engraved on that trophy alongside some of the best in the game.”
“It was great battling with everyone – a massive thank you for all the support over the weekend from everyone that came and those who have been in contact throughout the weekend. It means a lot.”
*Images: Tony Else