DARLEY Moor championships came to a close this weekend as racers scrapped for double points in one race each, with every title up in the air as action kicked off on Sunday morning.
And there was plenty to be seen after Richard Cooper secured his fifth Stars at Darley title as the club’s solo and sidecar ranks hit the Derbyshire circuit.
Two classes, Formula Darley and the CB500 Championships had just a two-point gap at the head of the table as Martin Robbins held the advantage over Tony Griffiths in Formula Darley, while Andy Whale headed the CB500 class over Daz Bellworthy.
But it wasn’t as close in the Lightweight scrap as James Ford had a 24-point lead over fellow High Peak resident, Chris Moore. Griffiths was the faster starter and led for the opening couple of laps, with Ford second after the first lap, Moore having the slower start and finishing lap one down in fifth, by the end of lap two he was up to second and then took the lead on lap three and was able to open a victory margin of almost 30s.
After being second on the opening lap Ford couldn’t match Moore’s speed and was only able to get past Griffiths and hold onto second place, but this was all that was needed for him to take the Lightweight title.
Robbins had the slowest start and finished the first lap down in sixth place, but could not manage to close in on Griffiths. After battling it out with CB500 rivals Bellworthy and Whale throughout the race and making a mistake on the final lap, dropping him down to sixth, he lost out to his rival for Formula Darley honours. Bellworthy was able to get ahead of the trio towards the final stages, opening out a two second advantage over Whale at the flag, giving Bellworthy the CB500 title.
The Classic 500 class had just three points separating Dave McCoy, at the head of the table, from Derek Butler, this class being out on track with the other Classic machines and Formula 125 class. McCoy was able to get the faster start and maintained the quicker lap times throughout the race, securing the title after coming home in fourth place behind the three Classic 1000 machines, against Butler’s eighth Overall.
In the fight for the Formula 125 title, McCauley Longmore held four points ahead of the absent Corey Tinker with Callum Beach a further 12 adrift, in third place. After making up for the slower start, Beach was able to pass Longmore on lap two and open a 13s gap on his rival at the flag, the pair finishing seventh and 10th overall, allowing Beach to claim the title.
The Classic 250 category was headed by Geoff Hadwin with Glenn Atkinson just 13 points back in second. Despite Atkinson having the slower start, finishing the first lap down in eighth place, Hadwin was up in fifth. Recording the faster laps, Atkinson managed to pass his rival on lap five, but it seemed that Hadwin knew all he needed to do was finish just behind him to guarantee the title, the pair finished less than one second apart after 15 laps.
With a 16-point advantage going into the final round and despite being the third Classic 1000 machine home, David Bradley secured the crown by just eight points after Mark Brailsford was unable to find a way pass Nick Allinson, finishing just 1.3s back.
Although Moore missed out on another Lightweight title he was able to lift the Classic 350 trophy when his nearest challenger, Mark Cockerton, failed to finish the third lap.
The top three of the Formula 600 class were separated by just seven points, with Lloyd Shelley leading, Jamie Pearson six points behind and Rich Baker a further point behind. But the challenge to Shelley didn’t come from the anticipated riders – Stephen Parsons and Matt Stevenson were the two to mix it with the reigning champ throughout the race.
Shelley led for the opening four laps, then Parsons led across the line for the next eight laps, until Shelley took the lead again, the pair never more than 0.3sec apart between laps three and 12. But towards the final laps Shelley was able to stretch a slightly bigger advantage, finishing 1.8s ahead at the flag and confirming another Formula 600 title.
The Open Sidecar championship went into the final round with Anthony Eades/Keith Box having a slim advantage at the head of the table over Steve Thomas/Neil Aslaksen. Whilst the race was won by the guest outfit of John Holden/Lee Cain both Eades/Box and F600 leaders Roger and Bradley Stockton were able to convert their challenges into championships after their rivals retired.
Anthony Porter had a nine-point advantage in the Steel Framed 600 class over Dave Marsden, but in the two part combined race with Pre Injection machines, Porter could only manage to bring his machine home third in class and sixth overall, whilst Marsden was the first Steel Framed machine home in third overall, taking him to the top of the table when it mattered most. The race was won by Pre–Injection 600 leader Andrew Lowe, who retained the crown.
Ben Scranage had nine-point lead in the Peak Cup and 30-point lead in the Open Solo class over Harry Jackson, so he still needed to finish to collect the titles.
The Open Solo race was up first, but eager to clinch the championship, Scranage incurred a 10s penalty for jumping the start, but after stretching out a lead of over six seconds by the time the chequered flag was thrown, the penalty dropped him to second, handing Jackson the victory as Scranage managed enough to secure the title.
Jackson was not able to match Scranage’s lap times in the Peak Cup battle as the latter recorded a start to finish victory, stretching a gap of over three seconds at the flag.
The Pre–Injection 1300cc class was led by Jamie Pearson, who had an 11-point cushion over Anthony Froggatt, with Adam Walters 20 points behind Pearson. Pearson made no mistakes throughout the race, taking a flawless victory and with it the title.
But it was nearly disaster for Mini Sound of Thunder leader Elliot Williams, who dropped positions as the race progressed, finally finishing 10th overall and third in his class as he held on to take the championship.
*Images: Tony Else