Here are some photos from the first Darley Moor meeting of 2019, taken by official Darley photographer Tony Else...
It feels good to be back!! After a winter that felt so long it had us weighing our bikes to ascertain weight distributions (see our Facebook page for results) and even changing suspension settings on the Kawasaki Supertwin so it more closely behaves like the Kawasaki Supersport machine.
We left Two Daves Racing HQ on Friday evening and less than 2 miles into the journey the nearside caravan tyre burst. A quick roadside swap got us going again, until we got ~1.5 miles from the circuit when the replacement nearside caravan tyre also burst! Another quick roadside swap (back onto the first wheel that had suffered damage) and we slowly hobbled to the circuit - creating a lengthy tailback on the A515 along the way.
Saturday morning was spent obtaining a spare caravan tyre to get us back on two wheels, before spending the afternoon testing. The aim during testing was to blow away some winter cobwebs and to check that both bikes were running well. After two sessions we parked up the Kawasaki Supertwin as it felt great (and the suspension changes worked). We participated in the full three sessions on the Kawasaki Supersport as it took a little while longer to get dialled into the quicker bike, but by the end of the day we were feeling good.
Unfortunately, tragedy struck Stuart Hall in the test day when he slipped off the 'loaned' RV Racing SV650 at Townleys corner - but rider fortunately walked away unharmed.
With the arrival of the Sunday race day, we thought it would be good to officially clarify our aims for the 2019 race season, which are:
* To finish the Formula 600 championship in 7th place or better at the end of the season (we finished 8th in 2018)
* Be able to complete 9 laps of Darley Moor before the "Stars" complete 10 laps! We intend to enter the prestigious "Stars at Darley" race again and do not want to potentially interfere with the race result - so want to be able to complete the 10-lap races without being lapped.
Our first qualifying session of the season was for the Mini Sound of Thunder class. Despite the dry weather the air and track were very cold. After getting into the swing of things we managed to qualify 2nd in class (4th on combined grid). Towards the end of the session we witnessed a crash directly in front us, where Paul Fletcher had several attempts at highsiding his Kawasaki ZX10R before eventually bike-surfing it to a standstill - epic skills indeed!
Qualifying for the Formula 600 class was up next. The session went well and we qualified in 6th position.
For the 2019 season, the way that Darley Moor championship points are awarded has changed. With exception of a bonus point that is awarded to the winner of the "qualifying race", all points (and trophies) are awarded in the second race of the day - the "points race" where points go down to 10th position with the following allocations: 15,12,10,8,6,5,4,3,2,1 (note: double points are awarded at the season finale)
The first race of the day was the Mini Sound of Thunder 'qualifying' race. As soon as the final call was announced over the paddock tannoy we headed to the assembly area, but due to a number of machine recoveries from the previous race, we were left in the assembly area for more than 10 minutes.
Due to the delays Daley Mathison (who was back in attendance and just like at the 2015 Stars meeting was very quick in every class he entered) and his team took the opportunity to refit tyre warmers in the assembly area to curb the heat loss from the tyres. Without that ability ourselves, we decided to spend the first few laps of the 6-lap race ensuring that our tyres were warm before we started pressing on. We managed to have a few battles with some PI600 riders and finished 2nd in class (7th overall) which would put us 7th on the grid for the points race.
Next up was the Formula 600 'qualifying' race where we got quite a poor start and lost a few positions on the run to the first chicane. Through the race we slowly made our way back through pack and eventually finished in 7th place, which would put us 7th on the grid for the points race.
With lunchtime declared, it was time to venture across the paddock to help Mike Gittings celebrate his 32nd birthday. After singing 'Happy Birthday' and eating some of Mike's birthday cake, we disappeared back to our caravan... :-)
It was now time for the races that mattered - the points races! Mini Sound of Thunder was the first up and we got a good start and once again had some battles with the PI600 riders. It was an interesting race and we managed to go a bit faster (into the 1'02s) and eventually finished the race 2nd in class. Daley Mathison took the class win by over 19 seconds, with third-placed Richard Saville a further 20-seconds behind us. Birthday-boy Mike Gittings took 4th place in the race.
The final race of the day was our most important one - the Formula 600 'points' race. A good start meant that we were able to maintain our 7th place starting position through the first chicane and on the opening lap we moved up into 6th place. We could see the leaders during the opening laps but Albert Walker (ahead of us in 5th place) was very impressive on the brakes which made him difficult to pass. On lap 6 of 8 we finally got ourselves into a position to attempt a pass and moved up into 5th place, we then put in our best laps of the weekend (with a best of 59.55) and secured our 5th place finish. Reigning Formula 600 champion Lloyd Shelley took a narrow victory from Stephen Parsons, with Matt Zschiesche taking third and Rich Baker taking fourth spot.
With the new championship point allocations, the championship positions are effectively the race results from today:
* We currently stand 2nd in the Mini Sound of Thunder championship
* We currently stand 5th in the Formula 600 championship
This race meeting was great fun and left us wanting more! With no particular machine faults to resolve, there will be a bit of downtime over the coming weekends as our next race meeting will be Darley Moor Round 2 on Bank Holiday Monday 6th May.
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... :-)
David Carson Jnr,