On Saturday 2nd February 2019, the awards presentation evening for the 2018 Darley Moor club championships took place. As usual, the room was packed to the brim with 350+ attendees and it was a fantastic evening that everyone enjoyed.
A special gift (from Tony Else) was waiting for us on the table when we arrived. Having finished championship runner-up in 2018, we were called up to collect a trophy from 'Stars at Darley' podium finishers Richard Cooper, Leon Jeacock and Ben Godfrey - as well as 'multiple Sidecar World Champion' driver Ben Birchall.
With celebrations carrying on beyond 2am on the Sunday morning (and with Superbowl LIII on the Sunday night), a bit of recovery time will probably be needed this coming week... :-)
With 2019 now in full swing, here is some news from Two Daves Racing HQ...
We have made the decision to retain our existing machinery, in their existing levels of tune, for the 2019 season. However, that doesn't mean that we have completely put our feet up over the winter period, as some progress has been made with "Machine Changes", sourcing "Consumables" and with our "Riding Gear"...
Some minor changes have been made over the winter to our Kawasaki Supersport machine:
* It has been treated to some new Venhill braided hoses, as the previous HEL hoses were starting to show signs of wear. We have used Venhill hoses on our Kawasaki Supertwin machine since 2014 and appreciate the way that they can assembled to achieve a perfect hose run (with no annoying kinks or twists).
* A new lower radiator extension has been acquired, to enable cooler running in the summer months. The radiator will also be useful if we decide to run a higher state of engine tune in the future.
* A complete spare tank has been acquired - as we didn't have previously have one in our spares kit.
* Some new carbon fibre parts have been added in the form of a hugger and some tank side panels.
Rock Oil have graciously decided to continue their sponsorship of Two Daves Racing for the 2019 season, so a batch of fully-synthetic Synthesis 10w40 oil, and a number of genuine Kawasaki oil filters, have been added to the workshop.
To start off our season, a collection of brand-new race tyres have been purchased so that we can ensure that our race machines (which are currently wearing very good scrubs from the last meeting of 2018) will never need to suffer from using sub-par rubber...
After testing the EBC GPFAX pads at our last race meeting, we decided that they should now become our 'chosen pad' - so a spare set has been purchased for each machine.
And our final highlight is... lockwire! We didn't realise that 'crap' lockwire actually existed, but after purchasing a reel of lockwire from M&P that was both tough to bend and brittle during use - it snapped during installation! - making a switch to Goodridge 0.81mm lockwire has brought back confidence that whatever we secure will stay secure. We never expected to promote a lockwire, but we will use Goodridge from now on!
A few other necessary workshop consumables and tools have also been acquired, meaning that we're ready for the season ahead! :-)
The final changes going into 2019 relate to our riding gear. We purchased two NFmoto suits at the start of the 2016 season and have been impressed by their quality and comfort, so see no reason to change them at this point. But our trusty Frank Thomas gloves were showing signs of use, so we treated ourselves to some of RST's top-of-the-line Tractech Evo R gloves in white. We also purchased a new official Shark tinted visor as our existing visor was starting to show signs of wear (stone chips, minor scratches, etc).
After much deliberation, we are finally ready to announce our race dates for the 2019 season!
As per previous seasons, we plan to race with Darley Moor once again on our trusty Kawasaki Supersport and Kawasaki Supertwin machines. We will focus on the Formula 600 class and will attempt to beat our 2018 championship finishing position of 8th place - hopefully finishing within the championship Top 5 at the end of the season. We also intend to enter the prestigious "Stars at Darley" event at the close of the season once again.
We also plan to "wildcard" in some additional events, such as the BEMSEE MRO600 and Thunderbike Sport classes at the Donington Park (national circuit) meeting. Other race meetings and possibly some track days may also be added throughout the season...
2019 Race Dates
Saturday/Sunday 6th-7th April - Darley Moor Round 1
Monday 6th May - Darley Moor Round 2
Saturday/Sunday 18th-19th May - BEMSEE Donington (National circuit)
Sunday 16th June - Darley Moor Round 3
Saturday/Sunday 13th-14th July - Darley Moor Round 4
Sunday 4th August - Darley Moor Round 5
Sunday 15th September - Darley Moor Round 6
Saturday/Sunday 12th-13th October - Darley Moor Round 7 including "Stars at Darley"
With 2018 almost over, we thought we would post a final news update to 'wrap up' the year.
Thanks for your support!
First of all, we would like to say Thanks! Since this website went live at the start of 2013, we are proud to announce that we have received a fantastic 84,109 page views from 32,047 web sessions (by 23,899 unique visitors). The figures for our YouTube channel are just as impressive with 46,800 video views (covering over 101,000 minutes) for the 252 videos we have uploaded - which is even more impressive considering that since 2015 our Darley Moor onboard race videos have only been accessible directly via our race reports!
2018 Darley Moor Awards Ceremony
Our attendance to the annual Darley Moor Awards Ceremony (on 2nd February 2019) has now been confirmed, with us taking ten seats at the event. Having finished runner-up in the Mini Sound of Thunder championship in 2018 we will have a nice trophy to collect - so this should be a fantastic evening to enjoy before the new season commences.
Our plans for the 2019 season are yet to be confirmed, but the machinery will remain identical. We should be able to provide further news about our specific plans in early 2019. Until then, we would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
With our final race of the season now complete, we finally found some time to do a bit of "Autumn Cleaning" to our online presences...
First of all, take a look around this website and you'll see lots of little changes and updates - including updated achievements on the Team & Rider Overview page.
Regarding the other platforms (which are all easily accessible via the icons in the top right corner):
* Our Facebook Page has had some extra photos added into the various albums over the past week to keep them up-to-date. These albums now contain all photos that we have - and go all the way back to the 1995 season when we first started racing!
* Our Twitter Page has been visually brought into line with the rest of the platforms - but we are a bit quiet on that channel, so will try to be a bit more vocal going forward.
* Our YouTube Page features a new overview video for non-subscribers. Watching this video (shown below) reminds us of just how much we have achieved at club-level over the past 20 years... :-)
Our plans for the 2019 season are yet to be decided, but will no doubt build upon the 2018 season and focus on our Kawasaki Supersport machine.
As soon as we have some news available - you'll find it on one (or many) of our online presences... :-)
Here are some photos from the final Darley Moor meeting of 2018, taken by official Darley photographer Tony Else...
"Late afternoon in October, and a solitary rider waits patiently for his fellow competitors in the "Stars" race 2. He sits there awaiting for TT legend John McGuinness, BSB rider Richard Cooper, and hosts of Superstock 600 and 1000 riders. Derek Box ensures the rider won't seek unfair advantage by starting before the others arrive on the grid."
Our biggest moment of the 2018 season had finally arrived... As mentioned in our race preview, our optimistic entry into the prestigious "Stars at Darley" event had been accepted (subject to meeting the qualification criteria in order to race), so we had some extra sessions alongside the final races for each of our club championships.
With a Saturday test day lined up, the 'Two Daves' headed across to the circuit on Friday evening and setup whilst it was still dry, before having a brew with 2017 Stars winner (2018 British Superstock 1000 racer and 2009 Darley Moor Formula 125 championship contender) Ben Godfrey.
Around 7pm on Friday it started raining and didn't stop until around noon on Saturday. There was an hour set aside for untimed Stars practice on Saturday which we took part in. The track was damp but it was a useful session to bed in brake pads and to blow away some cobwebs, ready for Sunday race day.
On Saturday evening, we took the opportunity to do a track walk with British Superstock 1000 racer James Henry who had never raced at Darley Moor before.
Onto Sunday morning and it was cold and frosty - but dry! We had fitted a new rear tyre to the Kawasaki Supersport machine in preparation for the many, many racing laps that were to come... We were entered into 7 of the 14 races which had a combined total of 85 racing laps (excluding sighting laps, cooldown laps & qualifying sessions!). Fearing this may be too many, we decided not to compete in the Allcomers racers nor the Peak Cup race - which left us with the Formula 600 race, then Stars at Darley Race 1, then the Mini Sound of Thunder race, then Stars At Darley Race 2 - which meant "only" 50 racing laps plus four morning qualifying sessions.
The first qualifying session was also the first of the day, for the Mini Sound of Thunder class. As usual it was tricky to find a clear lap, but we managed to qualify in pole position in our class, which put us 5th on the combined starting grid.
Next up was the untimed Stars practice session, where we managed to go faster than we've ever been before to reduce our Personal Best lap from 59.73 to 59.44.
After that was the Formula 600 session which had two red flags within the 12-minute session. Fortunately no-one was seriously hurt (the sessions were stopped to move the crashed bikes) but as we had only managed to register a lap of 1'00.33, we would start from 8th position on the grid.
Now it was time for the main event... We were advised that we would need to lap within 110% of the pole sitter's time in order to qualify to race - after some consideration, we expected that a laptime of around 53.5 seconds would be set for pole position based upon last year's times. A 53.5 second pole time meant that we would need to do a 58.85 laptime - over half a second quicker than we'd ever gone before!
We went out and immediately pushed hard to put in a 58.70 (which is a full second quicker than our old Personal Best lap coming into the meeting) but on return to the pit lane we learned that Richard Cooper had set a lap time of 52.97 and was 1.33 seconds quicker than everyone else in the field. This meant that the 110% laptime that was now required was 58.27...
So we headed back out for a final monumental push and set a qualifying laptime of 58.13 (a massive 1.60 seconds quicker than our previous Personal Best!). This qualified us in 17th place on the grid of 21. As it turns out, we were the final entrant to actually qualify within the 110% bracket, but the organisers decided to allow all entrants to race anyway. For those of you interested in seeing our quickest-ever lap around Darley Moor, you can watch it below...
Formula 600 Race
The first race of the day was the Formula 600. We had an OK start and then started slowly moving our way through the field (up to 5th place) until we reached Rich Baker on lap 5. Despite lapping at around the same pace, Rich was quicker in different places than us, so it was very difficult to attempt a pass. We followed Rich for 10 laps (enjoy the footage Rich!) and on the final lap got a decent drive from the hairpin, so attempted a move at the final corner. After starting the move we could see that it would probably cause a close encounter at the apex, so aborted the move and ran wide. After coming back on track, we were nipped at the line by Richard Stubbs by 0.001 of a second and crossed the line in 6th place. Looking at the final point standings, finishing in 5th or 6th place in the race had no impact to our championship position so it was worth having a go! :-)
"Stars" Race 1
It was now time for the first of the big races, which also happened to be John McGuiness's first ever race on the Norton! From the start we were at the rear of the pack and tried to gain a few positions into the chicane - but we were pushed onto the grass which meant that we were not only dead last on the exit but also several seconds from the next rider along!
Over the course of the race we managed to catch the pack and a 3-way battle between Richard Stubbs, Andy Taylor and ourselves emerged, which restricted laptimes to the 59-second range. On our penultimate lap, race leader Richard Cooper caught and passed us all. At the chequered flag we finished 19th, 0.26 of a second behind the rider ahead.
Mini Sound of Thunder Race
Prior to the Mini Sound of Thunder race, our championship opponent Elliot Williams had discovered that he had engine issues. We loaned Elliot some parts and his team managed to get his bike up and running for the race.
When the race started, we moved into the lead at Park corner on the opening lap. During the race we registered 12 laps in a row that were in the 1'01-bracket. At the end of lap 4 Richard Stubbs took the lead and we followed close behind, never more than a second behind. With just two laps to go, we were just 0.22 of a second behind Richard but unsure whether we would be able to make an overtake.
But then Richard managed to get passed backmarker Adam Salt and we didn't, which allowed Richard to take the win by over 5 seconds at the flag.
Some good news was that we managed to secure a new Personal Best of 1'01.08 (previously a 1'01.22) during the race. Elliot Williams finished a further 24 seconds back but secured 3rd place in class which was enough to secure the championship for him - congratulations Elliot on securing the title!
Before our next race there was an accident in the Steel Frame and Pre-Injection 600 race, where Joe Walton had an oil spillage and crash - we hope Joe recovers quickly and has some better luck come his way in 2019! There was a delay in proceedings to clear up the oil spillage and during the delay the temperature took a considerable drop.
"Stars" Race 2
Out for the final time of the day (and the year!) and this time we had a very lonely race. We started from 17th place on the grid and maintained that position, trying to keep hold of the group that was just ahead of us - but they were lapping around a second a lap quicker than us during the first half of the race (and then approx 1.5 seconds a lap quicker in the second half of the race).
Heading onto the Pope straight on the penultimate lap, we thought we had done enough to keep Richard Cooper at bay but then he whizzed passed us with just one corner to go, securing himself the Stars at Darley crown for a fourth time - well done Richard Cooper! At least we got a great view of him mono-wheeling across the finishing line...
Following our race finish we were then officially awarded a 17th position finish in the aggregated results - not earth-shattering but it feels fantastic to have had a 'Stars at Darley' entry accepted, then to meet the official race-start criteria and then to finish both races to be officially classified as a race finisher in the prestigious 'Stars at Darley' event :-)
After the final round, the championship point tables look as follows:
MINI SOUND OF THUNDER CHAMPIONSHIP (TOP 5)
Elliott Williams 101
David Carson 87
Richard Stubbs 48
Ian Robinson 37
Jason Wilkes 12
FORMULA 600 CHAMPIONSHIP (TOP 10)
Lloyd Shelley 81
Rich Baker 54
Jamie Pearson 43
Stephen Parsons 42
Matt Zschiesche 30
Carl Booth 28
Chris Sammons 27
David Carson 20
Richard Stubbs 13
David Shallcross 12
Our 2019 plans are still yet to be decided, but we are very please and proud with what we have accomplished during the 2018 season...
* 2018 Darley Moor "Mini Sound of Thunder" Championship Runner-Up
* A further 0.14 of a second knocked off our Kawasaki Supertwin Darley Moor personal best lap (now a 1'01.08)
* A new Kawasaki Supersport Darley Moor personal best lap of 58.13 achieved
* Accepted into the "Stars at Darley" event and qualified within 110% of the pole time (set by a British Superbike rider on a pukka Superbike)
* Confirmed finisher in the "Stars at Darley" results
And last but not least I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of my supporters (if you're reading this - then that's you!), Dave Carson Snr, Steph Carson, Lorna Carson, Tim Poole of the Poole Performance Centre & I would particularly like to thank Michael Mulvaney from Frankton, Pomerol Partners, Rock Oil and Eazi-Grip for their support.
David Carson Jnr,