DARLEY Moor club championships came to a close on Sunday as the 2021 title winners were all decided.
After taking top fives in the Stars races, Mark Goodings was also on the hunt for silverware in the combined Open Solo/Pre-Injection Open races, being 18 points behind Josh Daley in the Club’s Open Solo Championship and hoping to capitalise on Daley’s Sunday only entry, whilst Carl Morris had just a four point advantage over Adam Walters in the Pre-Injection Open Championship. Saturday’s race saw Ash Stone (third in Open Solo Championship, four points behind Goodings) make the faster start and lead until Lap seven, with Matthew Bell second and Sam Johnson third, whilst Goodings was in fourth place. Lap eight saw Stone drop to third, Bell takes the lead and Goodings move into second and Johnson drop to fourth. Goodings then hit the front on the following lap and was able to pull out a small lead of 3sec at the chequered flag, leaving Stone to reclaim second place on Lap 13 and pull clear of the battle between Bell and Johnson.
Behind this Open Solo battle Morris was battling it out several places ahead of Walters, getting his Pre-Injection machine amongst the Open Solos and eventually finishing sixth Overall, whilst Walters, second in Class, but 11th Overall. Going into the Final Round on Sunday the Daley’s advantage at the top of the Open Solo class was down to just three points, the points difference between a win and second place, whilst Morris had the luxury of a seven point lead in the Pre-Injection class. Daley’s return for the Final Round was to be too much for Goodings, recording a perfect start – finish victory with Goodings the only rider to get anywhere near him, finishing 8sec behind at the flag with Stone, the third place finisher, a further 25seconds back. Walters certainly did not make it easy for Morris in the Pre-Injection Championship, trying to force Morris to make a mistake he followed him throughout the race, the pair only separated by another rider, across the line on one occasion throughout the 15lap race. Morris taking the class victory, and with it the championship title, by just over four seconds.
As the Open Solo and Pre-Injection class show at Club level there tends to be many local riders to the circuit that are successful, but a mention must be made of Albert Walker, from Torquay, a ‘mere’ 200+ miles and 5hour drive, each way, for a race weekend and he has been at Darley Moor for each Round of the 2021 season. His efforts were certainly worth it because going into the meeting he only needed a handful points to secure the Formula 600 title, one of the harder classes to dominate. However, he had no intention of just getting enough points: on Saturday he had to settle for second place behind Richard Wardle , but on Sunday, and possibly feeling as fresh as a daisy, he turned the tables on Wardle and recorded a start-finish victory and becoming 2021 Formula 600 Champion with a 29 point advantage over David Carson , who secured a fourth and third place this weekend. After scoring points at just half of the Rounds Wardle finished third in the standings.
Onto another Formula 600 class, but this time the Sidecar version and once again the Champions elect only required a small handful of points to secure the title, but that was not going to be the way for the Howard Baker/Mike Killingsworth, who have been racing at Darley Moor for 34years. Chasing their third title over the past few years they finished Saturday’s race second, behind their closest title challengers, Roger and Bradley Stockton who had an advantage of almost 15sec over them when the race was red flagged on Lap 11. Sunday’s race was able to go the full 15lap distance and once again the Stockton’s took the win, after passing Baker/ Killingsworth for the lead, on Lap five and then stretching a 10sec advantage at the flag.
Running alongside the Formula 600 sidecars, the Open Class outfits with 1000cc engines, had a totally different set of Championship standings with the top two separated by just two points heading into Saturday’s penultimate round, Keith Waddington/Mick Storey holding the advantage over Anthony Eades/Ash Gibson. Saturday’s shortened race saw Eades/Gibson finish 13sec ahead of their closest rivals, claiming sixth place Overall. Sunday’s was much closer with the pairings in a race long battle, finally separated by just 3sec at the flag with Eades/Gibson doing enough to secure the title.
The Lightweight Championship was another with two points separating the top two competitors: Andy Whale held the lead over Steve Price. Saturday’s penultimate round all but secured the title for Whale after taking a convincing start-finish victory with an 18sec winning margin over Jake Bradley, with Price only managing to secure fifth place, 30+ seconds behind Whale. Sunday was a different race with Peter Fell leading for the opening three laps until Chris Moore, making up for his slow start and being seventh on the opening lap, passed him for the lead on Lap four. Fell then dropped down the pack a little to leave Bradley, Whale and Lewis Jones to battle it out for Runner-Up spot. Whale held second place until Lap nine when he dropped back to fourth, with Bradley,second and Jones, third. Moore then failed to finish the penultimate lap, leaving Bradley to inherit the lead and hold the advantage with Jones and Whale battling it out until the chequered flag and finishing in that order, just 0.5sec apart.
Four points was also the gap at the head of the 700cc Twins Championship, David Carson holding the advantage over Jim Hodson. Hodson was not going to make it easy for Carson and with the two having completely different starts the pressure was on Carson to secure enough points. After Lap onewas completed Hodson was lying second, just 0.6sec behind Sean Seddon with Carson back in seventh place. Hodson hit the front on Lap twoand was able to stretch a lead of 14sec over Seddon, with Carson working his way up to third at the flag, but over 30sec behind Hodson, giving Hodson a one point advantage going into the Final Round of the Championship. The opening laps were remarkably similar between Hodson and Seddon, but with Carson’s machine suffering a mechanical fault and unable to make the grid, the Championship was Hodson’s, who then went onto take the victory by over 40sec.
David Bradley had a five point lead over Martin Davis and a further four points over James Oddy in the Classic & Forgotten Era class. Saturday saw Bradley lead for the first couple of laps before Steve Boam, on the same class of machine, and Chris Moore, on a 251cc -500cc machine, passed him on Lap three, the pair then stretching out a lead over him of 25seconds. Boam able to hold Moore at bay and take the victory by just 1.5sec. With Davis’ machine suffering engine failure before the event started and Oddy not entered in this penultimate round the third place then handed Bradley an unassailable 17 point lead in the Class. Mike Lees (251cc – 500cc) and Graham Oakley (Up to 250cc) already had advantages of over 15 points that a race win gives and after securing overall fourth and fifth places, but victory in their respective classes then gave them both the Championship titles before the Final Round.
The Honda CB500/Suzuki Bandit class got the racing underway on both days over the weekend and 2019 Champion Mark Brailsford started Saturday with an 8 point lead over 2019 Runner-Up Liam Clements, with Tom Fisher a further nine points behind in the 2021 championship, so a far from settled championship. Saturday’s race saw Matthew Birks claim a start-finish victory, initially Brailsford was in second place until Lap four when both Gary Cutts and Clements passed him before he dropped another couple of places before failing to finish Lap eight. With Cutts and Clements holding their positions Clements added 10 points to his championship tally, putting him at the head of the table by just two points. Sunday’s grid was a little larger than the previous and boosted with several runners not eligible for championship points, but it did not detract from the racing, nor the championship positions. Daz Bellworthy recorded an impressive start -finish victory, crossing the finish line almost 40seconds ahead of the field, however, he was not eligible for championship points so did not affect anything. Cutts was the closest to him throughout the race, crossing the line in second place, then David Grace had battled from an opening lap fifth place to pass Brailsford on Lap five for third place, with Birks dropping back from a first lap third place down to fifth, with Clements finishing sixth, two places down on Brailsford, but more importantly taking just six points over Brailsford’s 10 points, allowing Brailsford to become the 2021 Champion.
Ben Dale was leading the pre-Electronic 600/750 Twin Championship by just 12 points from Stuart Bradbury prior to the Saturday’s penultimate round, however with two deter- mined rides he finished the season with a pair of start – finish victories, ahead of his championship rival who finished Runner-Up on both occasions, but 30sec behind on Saturday and 16seconds adrift on Sunday, Dale taking the championship by 18 points.
The races featuring the Junior and Senior classes still had two Champions to decide, Jamie Hanks- Elliott already having an unassailable lead in the Junior Class A Championship, for 400cc machines. However, Lewis Jones was another competitor to record two start – finish victories, taking the overall win from Hanks Elliott on both occasions on his Class A machine.
The Junior Class B Championship was being led by Freddie Oakley who needed just three points to secure the Championship. Two consistent rides saw him record fourth overall on both days, the highest placed Class B competitor and sealing the Championship with maximum points over the weekend and dropping just five points throughout the season. In the Senior Class David Glossop had a 23 point advantage going into the weekend and was able to mirror Oakley’s achievement; two consistent rides finishing third Overall on both occasions, taking maximum points in the Class and lifting the title with more than double the points of his nearest rival.
With the Club’s Honda CB500/Suzuki Bandit Championship getting the racing underway on both days the CB500 machines finished both days off with some excellent entertainment in an intended one-off event, the CB500 Derby Alloys Challenge, but this could well make an appearance again. Any spectator that left before the day racing had finished will be regretting missing the queue to leave the circuit. Twenty-one competitors took to the grid, all on CB500’s, Club racers alongside British Superbike/ Supersport/Superstock racers.
Saturday saw Matthew Birks lead across the line on the opening lap, then Daz Bellworthy led across the line on Lap two, Josh Leaning Lap three and four, Bellworthy Lap five to eight and Tom Fisher the final two laps. On Sunday, Leaning led to lap four before Richard Cooper took over on lap five, Leaning lap six, Cooper lap seven, Milo Ward Lap eight, but Cooper led the final two laps to take the win.
2021 Championship standings (final)
Junior Championship Class A – first Jamie Hanks-Elliott, 84pts; second Lewis Jones, 30pts; third Scarlett Robinson, 24pts
Junior Championship Class B – first Freddy Oakley, 85pts; second Katie Hand, 27pts; third Troy Jeffrey, 24pts Senior Championship – first David Glossop, 72pts; second Elaine Moody, 34pts; third Luke Gilby, 15pts
Classic & Forgotten Era up to 250cc – first Graham Oakley, 72pts; second Glenn Atkinson, 33pts; third Loris Hunt 24pts
Classic & Forgotten Era 251cc to 500cc – first Mike Lees, 65pts; second Nigel Race, 26pts; third Mike Harding, 22pts
Classic & Forgotten Era 501cc – 1300cc – first David Bradley, 66pts; second Martin Davis, 34pts; third James Oddy, 30pts
Lightweight Championship – first Andy Whale, 67pts; second Steve Price, 52pts; third Jamie Hanks-Elliott 40pts
Honda CB500 & Suzuki Bandit Championship – first Mark Brailsford, 57pts; second Liam Clements, 55pts; third Matthew Birkett, 52pts
Formula 600 Championship – first Albert Walker, 76pts; second David Carson, 47pts; third Richard Wardle, 37pts
Pre-electronic 600cc & 750cc Twin Championship – first Ben Dale, 90pts; second Stuart Bradbury, 72pts; third Lee Smith, 42pts
700cc Twin Cylinder Championship – first Jim Hodson, 75pts; second Dave Carson, 59pts; third Richard Hunt, 46pts
Open Solo – first Josh Daley, 75pts; second Mark Goodings, 69pts; third Ash Stone, 60pts
Pre-Injection to 1300cc – first Carl Morris, 85pts; second Adam Walters, 75pts; third Andrew Boulton 44pts
Open Sidecar – first Anthony Eades/James Etchels, 67pts; second Keith Waddington/Mick Storey, 64pts; third Steve Thomas/Danny Lewis, 42pts
Formula 600 Sidecar – first Howard Baker/Mike Killingsgworth, 81pts; second Roger Stockton/Bradley Stockton, 57pts; third Andrew Bingham/Kelly Bridgland, 32pts