Here are some photos from the final Darley Moor meeting of 2016, taken by official Darley photographer Tony Else...
Our final race meeting of the 2016 season took place at the prestigious "Stars at Darley" meeting. The season finale of the Darley Moor club championships had an added element of intrigue as quadruple points were on offer for each race - but with only one race per class during the day rather than the usual two races. Fortunately, as we had already won our championships, we could focus on having fun at this meeting.
In the week leading up to the meeting, we finalised the build of the latest addition to the Two Daves Racing fleet - a new balance bike for Lucy, which we brought along to the circuit for her to start practicing on! :-)
We set off to Darley Moor early on the Saturday morning as we did not intend to take part in the Saturday test day. The aim for Saturday was to get setup in the paddock and to enjoy some time being a spectator of the "Stars" that were in attendance. Unfortunately, things didn't work out as planned...
When we took our Kawasaki ER650 Supertwin for noise testing, we noticed that there was oil mist and smoke coming from somewhere near the top of the engine. There was no choice but to find and fix the issue, so the morning was spent identifying the issue, which turned out to be a seal failure where the pair valve had been removed.
It was not possible to repair the seal at the track, so a 120+ mile round trip to Northwich was required to collect our spare engine and bring it to the circuit, so that we could 'borrow' the required parts from it. With the bike back together, we successfully took the bike through the scruitineering checks and then signed on. It was too late to watch any "Stars" but we still managed to attend the end-of-season BBQ put on by fellow competitors Stuart Hall and Mike Gittings.
The Sunday race day had beautiful weather and a fantastic atmosphere around the paddock. With the exceptions of Dave Snr and Steph (who were on holiday in USA battling Hurricane Matthew!) our usual guests were in attendance - and there were also some new guests (Anton and Keith) attending on behalf of our new sponsors, business intelligence and data analytics consultancy Pomerol Partners. With great sponsors comes great responsibility, so we graciously posed for some catalogue photos! :-)
We were out onto track at 10am for the first session of the day to qualify for the Formula Darley class. As is now usual in this qualifying session, there was a lot of traffic as there were 5 different classes qualifying at the same time! A crash at Townleys corner brought out the red flag after a few laps, so we made our way to the front of the grid for the restart so that we could take advantage of some clear track. It was a good job that we did, as we only got time to complete a single flying lap before the chequered flag was out - we qualified in 3rd place behind Brad Vicars and Jamie Hodson.
An hour later, we were out again for the Mini Sound of Thunder qualifying session. Again this was a busy session, as there were 7 different classes out on track this time! We put in a good time and qualified 2nd position in class (4th on the combined Sound of Thunder grid).
By the time our first race (Formula Darley) was called, the sun was shining and the temperature had risen - it could almost have been a summer's day! A good start put us into the first chicane in 2nd position. After momentarily moving back to 3rd position, we quickly regained 2nd position and then held the position to the flag after an event-free race - finishing 9.37 seconds behind race winner Brad Vicars and 39.13 seconds ahead of Formula Darley championship-runner-up Kevin Bond.
Later in the day, the final Mini Sound of Thunder race took place. From the start we took 3rd position in class before chasing down the 2nd-placed Aprilia RRV450 of Connor Sellors and making a pass on lap three. From there, we got into a consistent and fast rhythm and set new personal best lap of 1'01.55 on lap 5, before improving it further on lap 9 by setting a 1'01.49. We crossed the line in 2nd position, with Brad Vicars taking the win and Connor Sellors securing 3rd place. In 4th place was Stephen Taylor and in 5th position was Kevin Bond - who managed to secure the Mini Sound of Thunder championship runner-up spot by just two championship points.
With our 2016 season now finished, we could not be any happier with what we have accomplished this season...
* 2016 Darley Moor "Formula Darley" Club Champion
* 2016 Darley Moor "Mini Sound of Thunder" Club Champion
* 2 x BEMSEE Thunderbike podium finisher
* 0.75 of a second knocked off our Darley Moor personal best lap
* BEMSEE Cadwell Park "Solo Best Turned Out" award
Once again, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our 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 Proficient Security and Pomerol Partners for their continued support.
David Carson Jnr,