2019 Round up Darley Moor.

It was yet again another exciting year of racing over in Ashbourne, Derbyshire as packed grids, some very rapid machinery and the Magnificent Seven were getting things done in spectacular fashion. It also saw me advertising in each race program and unveiling a trackside banner which took pride of place across from the pit-lane entry and was probably used as a pretty good braking marker for quite a few riders, ‘see the blind fella hit the anchors!!’

It also saw me doing a bit of, very cold and wet camping which, as you can imagine, brings its own set of problems to the table but each time I went home in one piece and I loved every minute, I even gave up my Super League Grand Final tickets to stay over at the ‘Stars’ meeting in October!

Mark Brailsford capped a dominant season by taking the title in the CB500 class having finished runner up in 2018.

With more M7 riders at Darley than anywhere else this year I was kept on my toes and behind the camera for almost every race with at least one rider to look out for as well as trying to find fresh angles and shooting spots and this year doing it mostly on instinct and alone.

Dave Shallcross provided thrills and, sadly, spills as he took 3rd place overall in the ultra competitive Formula 600 class.

It was nice to wander around the paddocks in the evenings when I camped and chat with and get to know some of the riders a little better Chris Coops, Joe Walton, Dave Shallcross, Steve Pawley and Dave Hammond were great company as was everyone who took the time to speak to me when they clearly had more important things to do.

Chris Coops took his maiden win and when track conditions were perfect he went quicker every time he was out there.

It was also really cool to be able to give Chris a framed shot I took at Park corner during his first win, which was just one of a lot of personal highlights for me during the year.

Steve and Dave of SPR Racing were also getting quicker and quicker and I was genuinely sad that I couldn’t be there to witness their reaction to breaking the 1. 10 lap time that they had targeted at the start of the year.

Despite being hampered by mechanical problems at almost every turn Steve & Dave really gelled as a pair and the lap times eventually came leading to unbridled celebrations in the camp.

Ash Gibson and the other Green Ant Racing crews were also flying round with my little logo stickers onboard and Ash was really taking it to the F600 boys on his Pre-Injection Yamaha and would surely have been a title contender if he had managed to make it to the opening few rounds of the championship while sidecar duo Anthony Eades & Nick Roberts took a strong 2nd place in the Open Sidecar championship.

Ash Gibson paid the price for missing the first few rounds but will surely be a man to watch in 2020.

Special thanks also to Eddie and his team for putting on such a good show in some challenging conditions, the marshals who took the full force of those challenging conditions and always had time for a chat or a smile for the camera, Dave Carson of 2 Dave’s Racing for the continued donations after each round, Darley Moor’s official ‘tog’ Tony Else for always stopping to say hello and have a chat, Glyn Ivings likewise,

Finally a huge HUGE THANK YOU to all the riders and especially the Magnificent Seven men who were happy to have a logo or visor strip in place for the year, they had no incentive to do it other than genuine kindness and they helped make the 2019 season my best by a long way. Sadly the 2020 program sees a lot of meetings clash and I will have to make a decision soon based on a number of things but one thing is for certain, if I can be there next year I will be and if I can’t I will miss it.