After the official test day on Saturday that saw all of the M7 guys on track at some point during the 2 sessions expectations were high ahead of the lights going out for the first race on Sunday and with the early morning drizzle burnt off by the emerging sun a great day of racing was on the cards for riders and spectators alike.
Mark Brailsford/Bod Racing.
With the unbeaten record intact after Rd 3 Mark was once again entered in Allcomers 1 and the CB500 & Lightweight classes. In the usual mix of machines that make up the Allcomers grid Mark was up and running straight away and once again was the first CB500 home in 5th place overall, Liam Clements #77 pushing hard all the way on his CB.
Honda CB500, Lightweight & Suzuki Bandits Race 1, currently no results are available online.
Race 2. Mark was once again on the shirt tails of the Lightweight machines as he took yet another class win to maintain the 100% record with the first race result yet to be confirmed but was once again pushed by the #77 bike and with a few more CB’s on the grid the chasing pack are beginning to close the gap ahead of Rd 5 in early August.
Dave Shallcross/David Shallcross Racing.
Dave probably had more time on track during the test day than any other rider and must have lined up for the first of his 4 races in confidant mood.
Peak Cup Race 1. The Peak Cup pitches Dave and the other 600 riders against the more powerful 1000cc bikes and it’s always interesting to compare and contrast. In almost perfect condition Dave battled hard with Scott Stevens and Joe Walton on the other 600 machines and picked up 8th place with a fastest lap of 59.75.
The 2nd of the mornings ‘sprint’ races for the Stockport man was the Formula 600. Starting the day in 4th place in the championship it was a tough battle of quick riders and machines and while just missing the podium in 5th things looked good for the longer race to come.
Peak Cup 2. Was an almost mirror image of race 1 with Dave taking the flag in 8th once again and with a fastest lap just a fraction over the minute mark at 1.00.04 showing the consistency that he has been searching for this year.
The final race of the weekend for Dave was the second Formula 600 race and after a good start and the race settling down with Dave showing well and getting up to speed it suddenly came to an abrupt end with a mechanical issue forcing an early exit from the race.
Chris Cooper/Coops Racing.
Now a race winner at the Ashbourne venue Chris was out in the afternoon session of the test day and it soon became evident that things had changed!
Allcomers 2. With new found confidence in himself Chris was suddenly on the back of Neil McLaren and pushing hard with lap times dropping, unfortunately an incident involving Paul Fletcher brought out an early red flag with Chris being awarded 6th place.
Having enjoyed the first outing of the day Chris still had entries in 5 more races to come and it wasn’t long before he was out on track again.
Peak Cup Race 1. What became a theme for the day Chris once again enjoyed a race long battle with the #58 machine of Neil McLaren and took the chequered flag in 10th place with a lap time of 1.00.27 which was a PB that wouldn’t last long.
Open Solo Race 1. A larger field still saw Chris and Neil locking horns for the entire race and while a 13th place finish was out of the points scoring positions the time of 1.00.24 was the new benchmark for Chris which saw him take a massive 1.5 seconds off his previous best before Sundays meeting.
Peak Cup Race 2. Another race long battle with #58 saw Chris improve a place on the first race and bring the Suzuki home in 9th place for a couple of championship points and another lap time of 1.00.48 showing that the times were no flukes.
Open Solo Race 2. What had been a great day so far sadly came to a premature end when a flashing oil warning light saw Chris pull in but not before he had yet again posted a 1.00.29 to show incredible consistency throughout the day. Not want to push the bike beyond it’s limits and quite satisfied with the days work Chris skipped the Handicap race at the end of the day but went home a happy man.
SPR Racing/Steve Pawley & Dave Hammond.
After a short break on the Isle of Man at the Southern 100 the team were back at Darley and there in time for the afternoon test session prior to qualifying and racing on Sunday.
After a few set up changes to try and crack the 1.10 barrier that has eluded the boys so far things didn’t get off to the best of starts with a slipping clutch hindering their qualifying efforts and putting them at the back of the grid for race 1.
Getting a ‘flyer’ off the line the boys came round Park having picked up a number of places and a great fight with the crew of Dodd& Dodd ensued for the duration of the race.
Race 2 saw much of the same with the Dodd’s once again providing the closest racing and while the results weren’t what the team were hoping for the chance to pass some outfits during the race and running consistently over a full race distance at least gave the lads something to smile about.
With only 3 weeks to go before Rd 5 of the championship it’s time for another regrouping before returning refreshed and hungry to get to where the team want to be.