After a six week break off racing the first few laps of qualifying were a bit rusty, but we were soon back on form and managed to take pole position for the Formula Darley races.
The Mini Sound of Thunder qualifying session was next but only lasted for three laps before Tim Poole locked handlebars with another rider and the pair of them crashed out. All track activity stopped for 90 minutes whilst the air ambulance came and took the unlucky rider to hospital with a broken femur and arm. Tim Poole was OK but his machine was damaged beyond repair at the circuit, so that was the end of his weekend. The qualifying session was re-run for an additional four laps, but after a moment where we almost ran into back of classic bike we pulled in and accepted our 3rd place grid position (7th on the combined grid).
Mini Sound of Thunder race 2 provided us with the closet finish of our weekend - a gap of just 0.06 at the flag! Unfortunately, we came in 2nd place but we did get the fastest lap of the race with a 1'02.93 (exactly the same laptime as in Mini Sound of Thunder race 1).
Despite perfect racing conditions for Round 4, rain fell overnight for Round 5. It wasn't to last, however, as the track was only wet for qualifying and had dried by the time the races started.
The track conditions had already started to improve when we went out for the Formula Darley qualifying, with the track being damp and the only puddles being off the racing line. As soon as we got back into the paddock, we switched to dry tyres which stayed on for the rest of the day.
In Formula Darley race 1, we were again 3rd out of the first chicane. We managed to catch and pass both Stuart Hall and Brad Vicars to take the lead! After a great battle with the lead changing hands many times, we were leading into the final corner when we were too cautious overtaking a backmarker. We took the flag in 2nd place, half a second behind Brad at the line.
So then the race was restarted, we got a good start and were approaching the final corner on lap 2 when seven bikes were cruising with their hands up (as if the race had been stopped) - then they suddenly started going again. And then half a lap later the race was stopped. Apparently a faulty light board was intermittently showing as red, which caused the confusion.
So we got back to the start line again and there was a further delay. Our engine was getting hot so we switched it off until we headed out onto the sighting lap - except that the organisers had decided NOT to run a sighting lap, so we were actually racing - except we didn't know until the end of lap 1 when we were not flagged off the circuit! So, we were now racing again and had dawdled around for a lap. Fortunately, due to the confusion, most of my competitors were close by to me, so we managed to finish the race and salvage a 2nd place finish from the mess. Some good news was that we managed to record the fastest lap of the race :-)
Our next race meeting will be Darley Moor Round 6 on Sunday 26th July.
We have also received some bad news about the BEMSEE Brands Hatch GP race meeting. Our entry into the meeting has been refused due to an oversubscribed field, with priority being given to riders competing in the entire BEMSEE championship series :-(