CHAMPIONS were crowned a round early at Darley Moor this weekend as club riders hit the circuit for their penultimate meeting of 2019.
And with a number of guest classes on hand, including the UK Superkarts and the ACU 50cc championship, it was a packed day of racing in Derbyshire.
There was shock in the combined Junior/Senior/CB500 races when Mark Brailsford was unable to maintain his 100 per cent record in the CB500 class, recording two third place finishes after 2018 CB500 Champion Daz Bellworthy took two hard fought victories. He stole the two closest finishes of the day ahead of guest rider Tom Fisher, a rider normally seen racing in the Stars at Darley races, who chased him throughout and finished just 0.26sec behind in the first race and 0.37sec adrift in the second race.
George Hopper, a late entry to the meeting, maintained his own 100 per cent record, taking victory in the Junior class and winning all races he has entered at Rounds two and six with a fourth and fifth overall this weekend. After taking two runner-up places in the class, Katie Hand retained her lead in the championship – a points table featuring all-female top three. Scarlett Robinson sits second in the points after recording two thirds while Jamie Hank-Elliot sits third in class following a pair of fourth places behind Jack Worth this weekend. Senior Championship honours went to David Glossop after recording 13th overall in both races.
The Classic and Forgotten Era races were dominated by Liverpool’s Jamie O’Brien on his Yamaha TZ750 with two lights-to-flag victories over James Oddy on their Up To 1300cc class machines. He powered to victory in the first race by 4.6sec and the second by 2.6sec, which impressively included a 10 second penalty for jumping the start. Triple PDMCC champ Tony Griffiths recorded two victories for the 251cc – 500cc class after finishing third overall in each race whilst the Up To 250cc spoils were won by championship leader Graham Oakley, with a ninth and 10th overall.
The combined Formula 600/Pre Injection 600 and 750 Twin races brought about the first 2019 champion after Stuart Bradbury’s class win and second gave him an unassailable 42-point lead over nearest rival Steve Price, who recorded a fourth in class in the first race, but was one of a number of riders involved in an incident at the hairpin that required the race to be red-flagged.
Rich Baker took the overall victory in the first race on his Formula 600 machine, but was also involved in the hairpin incident, allowing David Carson to take his maiden F600 victory in the second race by 0.6sec from Marcus Wilkin and close the points gap to just five points between he and leader Baker.
However, two class victories in the Lightweight/Mini Sound of Thunder races allowed Carson to further stamp his authority on the MSoT title he won last time out. Chris Moore’s two overall victories in these races allowed him to swap places with James Ford at the head of the Lightweight table after Ford recorded a second and fourth place, but Ford only trails by a single point heading to the Stars meeting.
John Cooke dominated the ACU 50cc Championship races with two lights-to-flag victories, winning the first by a huge 24sec and then following this up with an even bigger 31sec advantage in the second race. Just behind, Clive Somerfield was crowned Classic 50cc champ with a near-perfect record.
Fans of three-wheeled motorsport enjoyed the appearance of World Champions Ben and Tom Birchall in the Sidecar scraps as the pair used the race meeting to test their 600cc machine. Unfortunately for multiple TT winners Dave Molyneux and Dan Sayle, it was an early end to action as they were unable to hit the grid after engine problems in practice.
Unsurprisingly, the Birchall pairing took the win in the opening race, but it did give the Darley Moor regulars a chance to gauge their own speed against the world champs. Behind, Ben Knight/Dan Hughes were making up for a slower start after finishing the opening lap in sixth place they fought through to pass Allan Schofield/Steve Thomas on lap seven to take second place on their Formula 600 sidecar machine. In the second race, with testing completed, the Birchalls pulled out after four laps and after a quicker start this time around the Knight/Hughes pairing went on to take the win, once again ahead of Schofield/Thomas outfit. The Open Sidecar class was won by Anthony Eades/Nick Roberts in the first race, with seventh place overall whilst Roy Tansley/Jack Fox finished fourth Overall in the second to take the class win.
Four-wheeled motorsport fans were treated to a round of the Superkart UK Kart Championship races where Mark Gellatly took two lights-to-flag victories.
*Images: Tony Else