DARLEY Moor toasted the return of capacity crowds for the first time in 18 months as fans were treated to fierce action and new records.
In the opening Allcomers up to 650cc Twins race it was Jim Hodson who got quickly down to business heading the field from the opening Lap. As usual in the 700cc Twins Championship races David Carson was the only person to get close to him, finishing the 10-lap race 15sec behind.
Later in the day the pair were heading the field in the opening combined Lightweight and 700cc Twins race. Hodson was again quickest off the line, but Ian Perks, on a Lightweight machine, was following him closely for the opening couple of laps until Carson fought his way through to second spot and the trio stayed in that order for the remainder of the race.
Their final encounter was towards the end of the day, but Hodson again took his spot at the head of the field, with Perks coming out on top of a race long battle for the second place spot with Carson. Despite the two championship victories Hodson finished the day just four points ahead in the 700cc Twins Championship standings.
The second non-championship Allcomers race, for up to 1300cc machines, gave an early opportunity for another two championship rivals to test each other out with Josh Daley and Mark Goodings lining up to do battle along with wildcard and Stars at Darley Winner Richard Cooper to mix up the order.
Daley was the faster starter, enjoying almost a one second advantage at the end of Lap one, with Cooper enjoying a similar advantage over Goodings. Lap two and Daley meant business adding another second to his lead over Cooper, whilst Goodings had lost a quarter of a second to him. With Daley stretching his lead further Goodings began to turn the tables on Cooper, reducing the deficit by almost half to Cooper at the end of Lap three. By Lap six Goodings was on the back of Cooper as the two were locked in a battle to the end of the 10 lap race.
And on the final lap, Goodings got the better run through back markers and beat Cooper to the flag by 0.35sec. Proving Daley meant business as he took the win by seven seconds, he also broke the race record in the process.
Daley and Goodings were next battling it out in the combined Open Solo and Pre-Injection races, with Ash Stone also lining up for good measure. Once again Daley was quickest out the blocks, but not with quite the same advantage after lap one, with Stone just 0.25sec behind and Goodings a further second back but recovering from the slower start. By lap three, Goodings squeezed past Stone, but with Daley enjoying a comfortable lead he was unable to close the gap, finishing five seconds behind, but with a two second advantage over Stone.
In the second race, Goodings pulled a quicker start and this time was just 0.75sec behind Daley after lap one, intent on giving Daley a race. Daley’s advantage never got any bigger than 1.8sec and again with a better run through back markers Goodings reduced the gap to just 0.4sec at the flag. The first Pre-Injection machine home was Carl Morris, who took fourth overall.
Cooper was back on the grid for the Formula 600 battles, but ineligible for points, as Liam Weston was the faster starter who crossed the line 0.2sec ahead of championship leader Albert Walker, with Joe Walton a further second back, whilst Cooper was languishing down in 10th after Lap one. Walker took the lead on lap two and began to stretch out an advantage at the front, but Cooper was beginning to get up to speed, going from seventh on lap two to second on lap five, hitting the front the next time around and holding it to the flag. Walton passed Weston for third on lap seven, but the pair battled it out until the finish.
Weston took advantage of Cooper’s absence in the second race as he made it a start-finish victory with Joshua Potts holding onto second place until Walker was able to close the gap and passed him on lap eight of 10.
The combined Honda CB500, Junior and Senior races brought Cooper back out as he locked horns with fellow CB man Daz Bellworthy to keep crowds entertained. But Cooper’s lack of a working transponder meant he was disqualified, promoting Bellworthy to a class victory despite missing out at the line by 0.07sec.
After being seventh on the opening lap, Liam Clements made his way through the field to finish runner-up on another CB500 machine, while Jamie Hanks-Elliott took the honours for the Junior class in fifth overall.
Cooper took no chances in race two, finishing with a whopping 20sec margin of victory in race two as he beat Mark Brailsford while Hanks-Elliott was again the first Junior machine across the line in third overall. Senior category leader David Glossop took the class win both times with a race average of 79.95mph each time, a new record for the Seniors.
Yet another race record was shattered in the Pre-Electronics 600 class when Ben Dale took the first race win from Stuart Bradbury, passing him for the lead on lap two and extending his lead to almost 10sec at the flag with a time 4.48sec quicker than the previous record. It was a repeat one-two in race two, as Bradbury cut his gap.
James Oddy dominated the Classic and Forgotten Era races, taking his 1300cc class machine to two start-to-finish victories over championship rival David Bradley who still heads the tables with a five point advantage. Jason Lamb finished third overall in both races but took the victory in the 500cc class while Graham Oakley was the best of the 250 riders in seventh overall both times.
Howard Baker and Mike Killingsworth had two emphatic victories on their Open Sidecar outfit, never headed throughout the eight and 10-lap scraps. But the Formula 600 Sidecar spoils were split between Keith Waddington/Mick Storey and James Saunders/Rian Saunders, the latter of whom won the final.