DARLEY Moor dropped the flag for the final time this season with a double-header weekend of packed club action.
And with returning names and heavy hitters on hand, it was a bumper weekend at the Derbyshire circuit.
Former champ and dominant Darley force Lloyd Shelley was back in action last weekend aboard a street-legal 765 triumph, but his main competition came from Ash Stone who bagged seven wins from eight starts across the Peak Cup and combined Open Solo/Pre-injection Open class races.
In their first Peak Cup encounter Stone was quicker off the line and led from the opening lap, whilst Shelley was fourth, behind Richard Wardle and Brendan Brown until finding a way past by lap four, whilst Brown lost his position to Tim Poole. Their second battle, the Open Solo/Pre-Injection Open, Shelley led at the end of lap one, with Adam Walters second on a Pre-Injection machine and Stone third.
Stone moves into second on lap two, a little under two seconds behind Shelley, then passes him on Lap5 and enjoys a two-second lead at the flag, with Walters third overall, taking the Pre-Injection Open honours. Shelley led the opening lap of race three with Stone in sixth, but by lap four Stone has made his way up to second, with Shelley 7.7sec ahead, then after recording the fastest lap of the race on lap six the gap has been reduced by five seconds before Stone took the lead on lap eight and stretched the advantage to almost eight seconds.
And while Stone took seven from the eight after a strong run, a 10sec jump-start penalty forced him off the rostrum in one of Sunday’s scraps, leaving Shelley to victory.
Jamie Hanks-Elliott continued her strong run of form with a solid start in the first combined Junior/Senior race as she took a five second lead at the end of lap one, with Senior class front- runner and 2019 Champion David Glossop following her in second. However, unable to make any real inroads on the leader, Glossop was still 4.2sec adrift at the flag while reigning Junior Champion Katie Hand was a further nine seconds back in third place. Hanks-Elliott was once again able to pull clear of the field in race two and cross the finish line with a comfortable 6.5sec advantage over Hand. It was Glossop that needed to make up for the slower start on this occasion, ending lap one in fifth place and chasing the leaders, but able to take third as the flag.
One of the closest finishes of the day opened Sunday’s action with Hanks-Elliott leading from the opening lap, but with Hand and Tyler Howe both within a second. The next couple of laps saw Howe fighting with Glossop for the third-place spot, whilst Hand was closing in on the leader. By lap four Glossop had managed to stretch a gap on Howe, but Hand passed Hanks-Elliott on the final lap to take victory by just 0.14sec, with Glossop having to settle for third place, just a further 0.6sec behind. The final Junior/Senior race proved to be yet another exciting race, although disappointment for one as Hanks-Elliott again got the better start before Hand took over, but then fell at the next corner, Park Corner, leaving Hanks-Elliott to take her third victory of the weekend. Glossop again taking the Senior class win, with an overall second just 0.7sec back.
Several of the Junior class runners were also out in the combined Lightweight/Honda CB500 races with Hanks-Elliott putting in a good show against some different machinery. Saturday’s first race saw Jamie O’Brien take a start-to-finish victory on his Lightweight machine leaving rival Dean Stimpson to chase down the top CB500 runner, 2019 Champion, Mark Brailsford and Hanks-Elliott. With the Junior class competitor getting yet another excellent start, third on the opening lap behind O’Brien and Brailsford. Stimpson found his way through into third then set about closing the gap to Brailsford until the penultimate lap when he moved into second overall.
Brailsford made another quick start and left the rest to fight it out amongst themselves, taking the start-to-finish victory with a 5.5sec advantage at the flag. Behind him, all sorts of dramas were unfolding as O’Brien slotted into second with Hanks-Elliott third and Andy Jackson fourth on another Lightweight machine, trying to close the gap on CB500 mounted Brailsford. By the end of lap two Jackson was up to second but could get no closer to Brailsford, the next lap saw Hanks-Elliott move into third and 2019 CB500 Runner-Up, Liam Clements move into fourth before O’Brien failed to finish. Clements then getting the better of Hanks-Elliott in the battle for overall third place, but the pair each getting a Runner-Up spot in their respective classes.
Sunday’s first race saw O’Brien lead the way in the opening couple of laps until multiple Lightweight Champion Chris Moore hit the front on lap three and opened up a gap of almost five seconds at the flag, whilst Stimpson was unable to close in, having to settle for third. Brailsford was again the top CB500 competitor, finishing the opening lap in fifth place overall and having to drop just one place to a Lightweight machine, finishing sixth overall. The second race saw a dominant Moore take a start-finish victory, finishing over 22sec ahead of the field, leaving O’Brien in second with Brailsford again the top CB500.
O’Brien and Stimpson were also out in the Classic and Forgotten Era races and O’Brien repeated his effort with victory on his former 250cc Grand Prix style machine. Following O’Brien throughout were David Tetley for an overall second and victory in the 251-500cc class, second place in this class went to Stimpson who was closing in on Tetley throughout the race. David Bradley secured victory in the 501 – 1300cc class with fourth overall. The second race was much less straightforward with O’Brien leading from Bradley, with Stimpson third and Tetley fourth for the opening two laps, until he failed to finish lap three. Bradley then took over the lead, until Stimpson passed him on lap six and managed to stretch out a small advantage at the flag, with Tetley, third.
Their first race on Sunday provided one of the closest finishes of the day with Bradley and Stimpson battling throughout the six-lap race. Bradley leading across the line for the opening two laps, Stimpson then leading across the line for the next three laps, before Bradley passed him again on the final lap to take victory by just 0.5sec. O’Brien was making up for a slower start, working his way through before he passed Tetley on lap five and claim third spot. The final race saw Stimpson take victory with O’Brien in tow for the eight laps, finally finishing just a second behind at the flag.
Another former Darley Moor regular returned this weekend and was able to stamp some authority on the Formula 600 class as Ricky Tarren enjoyed some excellent battles at the head of the field with Harry Jackson, Richard Wardle, Shaun Evans and Tim Walsh. Jackson got off to the perfect start in their first race on Saturday recording a start to finish victory with Tarren in pursuit throughout the race, with Evans following the pair home just 0.5sec behind. It was a similar run in race two until Tarren squeezed by on lap four and stretched out a comfortable margin at the flag. As Tarren was making his progress, Walsh was also moving his way through the field, moving to third on the final lap after pipping Jackson to the line by 0.4sec.
Sunday’s opener was a straightforward one-two-three for Tarren, Jackson and Wardle as Tarren took victory by 1.1sec. It was as similar outcome in race two but with Jackson having to settle for third, 7.5sec behind Wardle, with Tarren another 2.5sec up the road for victory.
The opening Pre-Electronic 600 & 700 Twins race on Saturday equalled the closest finish of the weekend after a superb race from Lee Smith. At the end of lap one Smith was ninth but by lap three he was into second with a 6.4sec gap to the leader, Stuart Bradbury on a similar 600 machine. At the start of the final lap there was still 1.5sec to catch the leader, but amazingly he was able to catch and pass him, taking the victory by just 0.14sec while the first Twin cylinder machine home was that of Richard Hunt in fourth place overall. After failing to finish the opening lap in the first race Shaun Evans made amends in the second by taking a start to finish victory, as Smith crossed the line just two seconds behind. David Carson was the first Twin home in fourth place, making his way through from seventh on the opening lap.
Ben Dale secured a win in Sunday’s opener, stretching an advantage of almost three seconds at the flag over Evans, with Smith third and Carson again the first Twin home in fourth place. Their final race of the weekend saw Evans turn the tables on Dale and claim victory by just 0.6sec, after taking the lead on lap three, once again Smith third and Carson fourth.
With two grids for F600 Sidecars and Open outfits thanks to the number of entries, Harry Payne/Brad Stockton took a straightforward victory in the first Formula 600 race on Saturday with Dan Knight/Ben Hughes team taking second, after passing third place finishers Gary Horsepole/Kenny Cole on the second lap. Saturday’s race two saw Knight/Hughes turn the tables on Payne/Stockton and claim the victory, albeit by a much smaller margin, just 0.4sec at the flag as Horsepole/Cole again finished third.
Sunday’s opening race was a much more fraught affair with three outfits battling originally for second place, but then after Knight/Hughes failed to finish whilst leading, the pairings of Howard Baker/Mike Killingsworth, Horsepole/Cole and Robert Atkinson/Mark Middleton were then battling for the lead. Originally, Horsepole led the opening lap until Knight passed him for the lead before Baker passed Horsepole for second, then after Knight failed to finish he managed to hold onto the lead until the flag. Baker took the victory by 1.3sec from Horsepole, with the Atkinson outfit just a further 0.14sec behind. The final race was another exciting race with three teams taking a turn at leading as the Atkinson outfit led for the opening two laps, then Baker led on lap three until Payne hit the front and stretched out a seven-second lead, with Baker and Atkinson battling over second and third before Baker took a sight advantage at the flag.
In comparison, the Open Sidecar races were less fraught Saturday, at least, the opening race being won by Simon Horton/Jordan Forrest after leading Steve Thomas/Danny Lewis throughout and taking the win by just 2.4sec. The same scenario occurred in the second encounter, although the winning margin was a little more comfortable. Sunday’s opener saw Thomas/Lewis make amends, passing Horton/Forrest on lap two and taking the win by 2.6sec at the flag, but not over Horton, who had dropped back to fourth while Anthony Eades/Amy Dodds had made their way into second place on lap two.
The second race, the final race of the weekend Eades/Dodds in fourth on the opening lap before hitting the front on lap five and opening a winning margin of nine seconds at the flag. Horton/Forrest came out on top of the second place battle with Joe Heyes/Derek Sallah.