Here are some photos from Darley Moor Round 6, taken by official Darley photographer Tony Else...
We had a long summer break spanning 9 weeks where we kept ourselves busy - but it was great to be back in the paddock once again. We arrived on Saturday, caught up with lots of people in the paddock, then watched the F1 qualifying followed by Emma Raducanu's magnificent victory in the US Open tennis.
With full grids shown in the programme, we had concerns about finding clear space in qualifying - but these were unfounded and we managed to qualify 2nd in the Twins class and 5th in Formula 600, whilst multiple British champion (and multiple "Stars at Darley" winner) Richard Cooper took the pole position by over a second.
Our first race was the Allcomers, where we picked grid position 16 out of the hat. After working our way up to 2nd position by the end of lap 2, we remained there for the rest of the race.
Due to a incident in the Classic & Forgotten Era race, all of our other races took place after the lunch break.
The first of which was Formula 600 Race 1. A fairly average start saw us enter the Wilsons Chicane in 7th position, before we fell back to 8th position on lap 2. For whatever reason - be it not riding for a while, getting out of bed on the wrong side, etc - we struggled to get in the groove at this meeting and felt quite wooden on the bike. We were also making a series of small mistakes that seemed to get worse when we tried to push harder. But by the end of lap 5 we had managed to move up to 6th position, but then a mistake exiting Park on the final lap cost us a position and we eventually crossed the line in 7th position.
The Twins race was directly after the Formula 600 race, so Dave Snr was tasked with wheeling the Supertwin machine through the assembly area and onto the back of the starting grid, where we performed a MotoGP-style bike swap (albeit a lot slower!).
A poor start meant that we dropped from our 2nd-place grid spot to 5th place into the chicane. From here we worked our way through the pack to finish in 2nd place. By the end of the race we were exhausted!
Our last set of back-to-back races were at the end of the day. By this time, very light rain showers had sprinkled but it didn't look like much to worry about. When we headed off on our warm-up lap, the "diminished adhesion" flag was flying as Park corner was visually wet. On the return to the grid Richard Cooper and Daz Bellworthy decided not to race, and during the race Joe Walton retired.
A decent start from our 7th-place grid spot saw us enter the chicane in 6th place, before we moved up to 5th position at Park corner on the opening lap. On lap 2 we moved up to 4th position, where we stayed for four laps before being relegated to 5th. The rain showers continued to fall but we managed to finish in 5th place. A special mention must go to Joshua Potts, who actually went faster in the dodgy Race 2 conditions than in the dry Race 1 - giving him a well-deserved 3rd place finish.
A quick MotoGP-esq bike swap and we were ready for Twins Race 2. Another lacklustre start meant that we dropped to 4th position at the chicane, but our up-to-date knowledge of the track conditions meant that we felt comfortable on the bike and were able to move up to 2nd place in class on lap 2. We then spent the remainder of the race fighting off the lightweight-class machine of Ian Perks. On the final lap, Ian made a move into the back esses which stuck to the flag - but we crossed the line to take 2nd position in the Twins race.
There is now only one weekend of racing left in our 2021 season - the "Stars at Darley" weekend on 9th/10th October. Each day will host a single (but extended length) race for the club championships, along with a 15-lap race for the "Stars" - which we always enjoy watching. In preparation, some new dry tyres have been ordered for the Supersport 600 machine :-)
After Round 6 (of 8) of the 2021 Darley Moor season, the championship tables currently look as follows.
FORMULA 600 CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (TOP 10)
Albert Walker 51
Tom Fisher 30
David Carson 29
Liam Weston 23
David Glossop 14
Ben Handley 12
Richard Wardle 10
Jordan Bannon 10
Joshua Potts 10
Richard Baker 8
TWINS CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (TOP 10)
David Carson 49
Jim Hodson 45
Richard Hunt 28
Anthony Thane 24
Sean Seddon 12
Patrick Lord 11
James Barnett 10
Andrew Herd 8
Kieran Jackson 8
Martin Kelly 7
David Carson Jnr,