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|Thundersprint Takes a Year Off in 2015|
Thundersprint organisers Frank and Carol Melling announced that this iconic event will not take place in 2015.
Frank & Carol Melling with one of the Thundersprint's business awards
Frank Melling said: “It’s well known that we have had two disastrously bad years with the weather in 2013 and 2014. The 55mm of rain we had over two days this year at Darley Moor hit spectator attendance very badly. In the simplest possible terms, we just cannot take a chance on a third year of hostile weather.
“The problem we, and many other organisers, face is that the cost of promoting a big, complex event like the Thundersprint rises every year. Circuit owners want their income guaranteeing regardless of ticket sales. There is nothing wrong with this policy but it means that all the pressure is on the event organiser to cover costs and, hopefully, make a profit.
“We have talked extensively to a number of venues but there are none available which make economic sense. In the final analysis, we are a two person business and we can’t continue to risk what we have built up over the last seventeen years on the bet that we will have good weather in 2015.
“The Thundersprint is very much alive and well and Carol and I remain as enthusiastic as ever for the future – if and when the event can make economic sense.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank all competitors, traders and spectators for their fantastic support and we hope that they we will all continue to remain the good friends that they are now.”
|Thundersprint 2014 –
The Big, and Very, Very Wet, One
With Scott Redding, Jim Redman, Sam Lowes and Nick Jefferies on the start line the only big star missing from this year’s Thundersprint was Noah – and he was the one with most experience of the conditions!
Riders weren’t so much looking for a good wet set up for their bikes as outboard engines and inflatables - as the rain lashed down and a bitter wind howled around Darley Moor.
Thundersprint 2014 was wet – but Paul Bateman mastered the conditions to win the sidecar class
Scott insisted that the show went on for the thousands of spectator
Despite the conditions, the stars put on a really good show for the thousands of spectators who braved the conditions. Scott Redding said: “The weather spoiled things for everyone but I met loads of fans and we put on the best show that we could in the conditions.”
Six times World Champion Jim Redman was just as upbeat: “I can’t remember rain this bad for a long time but you can’t fix the weather. The important thing for me was that we put on a good show for the thousands of spectators who turned out. I really enjoyed meeting everyone and brought the bike back in one piece and so I went away happy.”
Pete Johnson had travelled from Birmingham and he still managed a smile as the rain lashed down. “You can’t fix the rain in Britain. The trade stands were great and meeting Sam Lowes on the CMC stand made my day. He’s just such a lovely person.”
Despite the conditions, riders put on a great show with all the Cavalcades taking place and, incredibly in view of the tsunami conditions, the whole race programme being completed.
Thundersprint organiser Frank Melling was still smiling, despite being knee deep in mud for two days. He said: “We always aim to be the best at everything we do with the Thundersprint and everyone, including locals who had been visiting Darley for the last forty years, said that this was the wettest and windiest meeting they had ever seen. Short of a tidal wave on the A515, it couldn’t have been any worse.
“The reaction to the Thundersprint has been tremendously positive from spectators and traders and, in view of the thousands of spectators who braved the conditions, we were all wondering just what a vast crowd we would have attracted if the weather had been even half decent.
“I would like to add a special note of thanks to the people of Ashbourne, and the surrounding areas, for making us feel so welcome. When you start looking in Estate Agents’ windows you know that you are in a very special place.”
“It’s going to be a real privilege for me to share the same paddock as these legends.
The Thundersprint Cavalcades were spectacular
|World Champion Sam Lowes
Joins All Star Line Up for Thundersprint 2014
Sam Lowes, current World Supersport Champion and one of Britain’s brightest hopes for GP success, will join a galaxy of stars for this year’s Thundersprint which will be held at the beautiful Darley Moor circuit, near Ashbourne in Derbyshire, over the weekend of May 10/11.
Sam Lowes showing why he is World Champion
Sam said: “The Thundersprint is going to be like a GP paddock with
Scott Redding, John McGuinness and all the classic greats.
Personally, I am looking forward to meeting six times World Champion
Jim Redman who has been one of my Dad’s heroes forever.
Winning always brings a smile
“Sammy Miller is bringing some unbelievable bikes from his museum and I hope that Sam will let me have a sit on some of them.
“It’s going to be a real privilege for me to share the same paddock as these legends.
“Best of all, I’m looking forward to meeting many of my fans and I will be on Pole Position Travel’s stand on Sunday signing autographs.
“In between, I will be having a play about on the track riding a Yamaha R6 provided by CMC in Chesterfield which will be tricked up to look like my Moto2 bike. How good is that?”
Thundersprint organiser Frank Melling said: “The way things are going, if Valentino Rossi rang up for a ride we’d struggle to fit him in – although we might just find a space somewhere!
“In all seriousness, this is the most star studded entry we have had in 17 Thundersprints and even if we didn’t own the event it would be the one we couldn’t miss.
“Jim Redman started racing in 1954 so we will have over six decades of Grand Prix racing greats riding at the Thundersprint from Jim to Sam and Scott Redding.
This will be unique for any event in the world.
“It’s going to be a real privilege to have such a fantastic collection of the world’s best riders all on the track at the same time.”
|Maybe the Best Motorcycle Racing Competition Ever
Free to Enter at Thundersprint 2014
The biggest? The best? The fastest? They’re all subjective and everyone will have a different idea of the winner. But Thundersprint 2014 will be hosting a competition offering one of the great biking prizes of the year.
Together, Pole Position Travel who are the Thundersprint’s official hospitality partner, and Donington Park Circuit the Thundersprint’s title sponsor, are offering a spectacular weekend for two at the Donington Park round of World Superbike which will be held two weeks after the Thundersprint over the weekend of May 23/24 and 25 of May.
The prize is for two people and the weekend starts with an Executive King Double room at the 4*Thistle East Midlands Airport hotel, plus complementary dinner and wine.
Donington Race Circuit – the Home of British
The winners will have VIP Parking at Donington followed by a personal tour of the Kawasaki World Superbike garage with Kawasaki Team Manager Guim Roda. During the tour, the competition winners will meet Tom Sykes and Loris Baz for a chat.
Then they will be off to the Kawasaki Hospitality Centre for lunch
and drinks before watching the races from the best seats in
Finally, before they head home the winners will receive a selection of exclusive Kawasaki merchandise.
The two runners up will receive a pair of tickets each for WSBK at Donington and VIP Parking.
To win, entrants must correctly answer this question.
How many races did Tom Sykes win at last
One, two, three or none?
Gordon Howell, Head Honcho of Pole Position Travel, and Thundersprint organiser Carol Melling hard at work planning this fabulous competition.
Entry is completely free of charge and there is no limit to the number of times the competition can be entered.
But, entry forms can only be accepted at the Pole Position Travel stand which will be in the Thundersprint paddock at Darley Moor throughout the weekend of May 10/11.
Postal and electronic entries will not be accepted. Entry forms will only be accepted at the Pole Position Travel stand.
Full entry terms and conditions are available from: Pole Position Travel.
And here’s the entry form which you should bring to the Pole Position Travel stand at the Thundersprint.
Or you can download a pdf by clicking on entry form.
|Isle of Man TT Legend John McGuinness
Joins All Star Line-Up for Thundersprint 2014
|John McGuinness is one of the greatest riders ever of TT racing but
over the weekend of May 10/11 he will swap the 37 ¾ miles of Manx
public roads for the more sedate surroundings of the Darley Moor
circuit in Ashbourne, Derbyshire.
Not that John doesn’t think highly of this beautiful circuit, set in the heart of the Derbyshire Dales. “I have had really fond memories of Darley for a long time. I’ve competed in every ‘Stars at Darley’ meeting since 1998 and love riding there.
“The length of a lap is a bit different from the TT, to say the least, but Darley is a great little track and a lot of fun.
“I have been meaning to ride at the Thundersprint for years and years but there has always been some clash which has prevented me from making an appearance and so I am really pleased to be there at last.
“In some ways, the Thundersprint is very like the TT because there is a really relaxed atmosphere for the spectators with Mums and Dads and the family dog there, alongside hard core race fans.
John in TT winning action at Ballaugh Bridge
“The difference is that no matter how much I want to be with fans, the TT is a serious business and my mind has to be focussed on racing.
“The Thundersprint will be completely different. I will have all the time in the world for fans and when I am not having a play about on the track with Scott Redding and Nick Jefferies I will be in the paddock talking about the TT.
“It’s going to be a great weekend and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Thundersprint organiser Frank Melling said: “John is one of the all-time greats of TT racing and is very much a riders’ rider.
“We watched John break the 130mph lap barrier from the banking at Creg Ny Baa and he was so elegant and smooth that he made it look like a Sunday ride out. That’s the sign of the best of the best.
“We’ve been talking to John about riding in the Thundersprint for the last twelve years now so we’re more than satisfied to have him join us at what we hope will be the first of many Thundersprints.”
|RAF Spitfire Confirmed For Full
Aerobatic Display at Thundersprint 2014
|The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will be sending one of their
iconic Spitfires to this year’s Thundersprint on Sunday May 11.
The Spitfire display has always been a highlight of Thundersprints
Darley is less than a minute’s flight from the historic Rolls Royce factory in Derby where the Spitfire’s legendary Merlin engine was built.
Thundersprint organiser, Frank Melling, said: “The Spitfire display has been a key part of the Thundersprint for many years and having one of these wonderful aircraft fly over an airfield, and area, where it has so many intense connections will be a very moving experience.
“The display area is fantastic and will provide superb views of the aircraft.
“The Spit will be with us as part of the lunch-time celebrations at Sunday’s Thundersprint so it will make a great start to the Masterclass - and we’re not expecting to see a dry eye at the show.”
Fingers crossed that this is the Spitfire which will be at the Thundersprint.
|Donington Park Race Circuit Becomes
Thundersprint Title Sponsor
Donington Park Race Circuit, the home of British motorcycle racing, and the Thundersprint are joining forces in a marriage which, if not actually made in heaven, certainly had its nuptials consummated in the race paddock!
The fabulous Donington circuit
Christopher Tate, Managing Director of the Donington Racing Circuit said: “In securing title sponsorship of the Thundersprint we’re delighted to be associated with one of the best events in motorcycling.
“This year, over the weekend of May 23, 24 and 25, Donington will host the only round of World Superbike in Britain. We want to tell everyone that this is the one race in the year which you just can’t miss and working with the Thundersprint is the way to spread this message.
Tom Sykes will be leading the British charge
at Donington –
“The Thundersprint attracts everyone with an interest in motorcycling – not just hard core race fans. It’s these enthusiasts, who wouldn’t normally go to a major race meeting, that we want to reach and let them know that World Superbike at Donington is a fantastic spectacle for anyone with an interest in bikes.”
Thundersprint organiser, Frank Melling said: “There’s no disputing that World Superbike at Donington provides superb racing with the outcome of every single race fought right up until the chequered flag.
“The other certainty is that Donington Park is the best motorcycle racing circuit in Britain - and one of the great tracks anywhere in the world.
“Donington has always been one of my favourite circuits, both as a rider and spectator, so we feel very honoured to have Donington Park Race Circuit as our title sponsor.”
“We are going to make sure that all our Thundersprint customers know about World Superbike and for certain, we’ll be there at the start of Craner Curves cheering for the Brits and enjoying one of the great spectacles in motorcycle racing.”
|Motorcycling Legend Sammy Miller
Returns to the Thundersprint With Even More Exotic Grand Prix Motorcycles
Motorcycling legend Sammy Miller is a firm favourite with the Thundersprint crowds and this year he is reaching new heights with the two bikes he is bringing to Darley Moor over the weekend of May 10/11
Hens’ teeth are positively common compared with the Type 673 works Jawa Sammy will be bringing to the Thundersprint.
Arguably the most exotic bike at this year’s Thundersprint will be the incredibly rare, four cylinder, type 673 works Jawa as ridden by 125cc World Champion Bill Ivy. Sammy acquired the bike for the Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum in October 2013 and the Thundersprint will be its maiden outing on the international festival circuit.
The flat twin German bike is a sister bike of the machine which Walter Zeller took to second place in the 1954 World Championship being beaten only by John Surtees riding the factory MV Agusta.
Despite being a full 500cc machine, the BMW is a wonderful jewel of minimalist engineering and certainly one of the bikes which must be seen at the Thundersprint.
Sammy said: “I am a huge fan of the Thundersprint. It’s a unique event in that it is run really slickly but at the same time manages to maintain the relaxed, informal atmosphere of a true classic event. I’m really looking forward to May.”
|Ashbourne Churches Take Lead Role
at Thundersprint 2014
Ashbourne Anglican churches, under the leadership of the Revd. Canon Geraldine Pond, are going to take a starring role at the 2014 Thundersprint which will be held at the Darley Moor Circuit, on the edge of Ashbourne, over the weekend of May 10/11.
Revd Canon Geraldine Pond and PA Clare Lewcockk
The Revd. Pond said: “We are very excited about joining in with what is going to be a wonderful event for the whole community. We will have a Christian Centre right in the heart of the Thundersprint but we are going to be doing far more than evangelising – vitally important as this is to us.The Revd. Pond said: “We are very excited about joining in with what is going to be a wonderful event for the whole community. We will have a Christian Centre right in the heart of the Thundersprint but we are going to be doing far more than evangelising – vitally important as this is to us.
“In our centre we will have a Nursing Mums’ area, a chill out space so parents with little ones can take a quiet five minutes before they join the excitement of the show again and a prayer and meditation area for some reflective thinking.
“We hope that all these opportunities will be very popular.
“We are also hosting the Lost Children Centre - but we will be happy
if this is empty all weekend!
|Scott Redding Stars at Thundersprint 2014|
Scott is looking forward to riding at the Thundersprint
For the 2014 season, Scott is riding a Honda RCV1000R for the renowned “Go&Fun” Gresini Honda team. Scott said: “I am disappointed not to be Moto 2 World Champion this year but you need everything to go perfectly right to win at the highest level.
“Now, I am looking forward to riding in MotoGP, which is the toughest championship in motorcycle racing. I don’t expect to be World Champion in my first year – that would be an impossible dream – but I do want to be the best non-factory rider.
Scott playing with his new MotoGP toy at the first Valencia test
Scott spends his working life riding at the best tracks, and against the hardest riders, in the world so what’s the attraction of the Thundersprint?
“I have ridden at the Thundersprint twice before and I honestly loved every minute of it. GP racing is a serious business – very serious indeed. My mind is entirely focussed on winning and I really do miss the chance to mix with the fans.
Scott was almost 2013 Moto 2 World Champion
“The Thundersprint is a giant two-day party for anyone who loves bikes and, best of all, I’ve got the time to talk to fans, have photographs and be with them socially. In fact, all the things I love doing but can’t at a GP.
“Darley Moor looks like a great little track so I’m going to have a play about on a Honda Fireblade and just have a good time. I can’t wait until May.”
Thundersprint organiser Frank Melling said: “We have been friends with Scott for a long time now and there’s no rider we would rather have join with us.
“Not only is he an incredible rider but he’s also a lovely person so everyone is certain to have a good time.
“Like Scott, we just can’t wait until May.”
Britain's Best All Round Motorcyclist
Rides at the Thundersprint
There aren’t many t-shirts in motorcycling that Nick Jefferies doesn’t
have! For example, how many riders have ridden for the Honda factory
in both trials and road racing?
Nick with his TT winning Honda RC30
fondest memory from 45 years of competition is his win in the 1993
Formula 1 race. Nick said: “Well, I think anyone who has come second
at the TT 8 times would feel like they should have won more than one
but 1993 was the year it all came good for me. The Honda RC30 was a
great bike, and I was riding well, so I felt that I deserved to stand
on the top step of the podium.”
Nick battles through the clag on board the factory CCM..
Nick will be riding Phil Morris’ V&M Yamaha as used by his nephew David
In an era of superstars with supersized egos Nick is a
refreshingly modest and down to earth. “At heart, I am an enthusiast,
who has always liked to go and ride for the hell of it, rather than
saying 'How much are you paying?'
“This is one of the attractions of the Thundersprint. The atmosphere
will be great, I’ve got an immaculate and lovingly prepared bike in
Phil Morris’ V&M Yamaha and I will have the chance to meet fans
personally – as well as having a play about on the track. What could
Thundersprint 2014 Hillclimb and Cavalcade Entry Information
Here is all the information about how you can enter either the Thundersprint track sessions and Hillclimb (Sprint) or the Cavalcade:
Click on Hillclimb for an entry to the Thundersprint and Cavalcade for an entry form just to the Cavalcade element of the Thundersprint.
Location: Darley Moor Motor Sport Centre, Derbyshire, DE6 2ET
The track is right in the centre of the country, about 2 miles from Ashbourne town centre.
It is easily accessible from the M6 and M1.
1) Thundersprint 2014 will be over two days. Here is a schedule of the event: What’s On and When
We have tried to give two days of sport for entrants whilst still keeping the time riders have to take off from work to a minimum, if you face pressures on your time.
This means that, if you wish, you can set up from Friday lunch-time onwards or, if you can’t get away, come on Sunday morning, have your bike scrutineered and still take part in a fantastic Thundersprint.
The entry fee is the same whether you start your weekend on Friday afternoon or ride just on Sunday.
Well behaved pets, and children, have free admission and are welcome.
We need to explain why the Thundersprint is a hillclimb and not a sprint. The answer lies in ACU regulations which say that if a sprint has corners, and/or is longer than 1 mile, it becomes a hillclimb. The “climb” bit of the hillclimb at Darley really is very, very, very small!
2) Entry into the Thundersprint Hillclimb automatically gives you participation in the two Cavalcades.
There is no additional entry fee and you don’t need your bike scrutineered twice.
3) Hillclimb entrants can, if they wish, enter a different bike into the Cavalcades for no additional fee – but the second bike clearly needs to pass scrutineering and the rider must remain the same!
4) The Cavalcade will be speed limited.
5) All bikes – Hillclimb and Cavalcade – will have to run at 105dba. This noise limit is rigid and non-negotiable so please don’t ask for exceptions because there can’t be any.
6) Here is what you will get:
For the Thundersprint Hillclimb:
a) The Thundersprint – three hillclimb, race runs on Sunday, using about 1.25 miles of the track.
Darley Moor circuit is wide, fast & secureb) Approximately 2 hours of track time over two days. There will be a “no closer than 2m” (six feet) rule so that everyone can enjoy the event in safety and comfort.
Riders will be divided into three groups – “relaxed”, “intermediate” and “fast” so that everyone can ride at a speed which they find comfortable.
c) Two, not one, Cavalcades – one each day
d) Two weekend admission tickets and one camping pass
The practice sessions will use the full 1.5 mile circuit. Here’s a lap of the track if you haven’t been there before. It’s a superb little circuit and great fun to ride:
Click for A Lap of the fabulous Darley Moor track
The actual sprint races will use about 1.25 miles of the 1.5 miles. The finishing line will be half way down the Pope Straight.
Riders will then slow down and gather again just after Paddock bend, which is the last corner on the circuit before the road race finishing line.
Sprinting is spectacular at Darley
The sprint really will be good fun. It features two challenging chicanes – one of which is flat out on a classic bike – and a hairpin complex, as well as a good straight where you can get your head buried in the tank.
The track is easy to ride if you haven’t raced much and a real challenge if you want to go fast.
We are aiming for everyone to have three hillclimb runs.
Starting will be by timing beam lights. You will not have to hire a transponder since the track practice sessions will be untimed.
However, you will have to purchase a one event ACU sprint/hillclimb licence if you don’t have either an ACU road race licence or an ACU sprint/hillclimb licence.
Entry cost: £135.00
For the Thundersprint Cavalcade:
a) Two, not one, Cavalcades – one each day.
b) Two weekend admission tickets and one camping pass
Entry cost: £35.00
7) Thundersprint Hillclimb:
Mainly pre-1978 but we will have a modern bike class too.
There will be a sidecar/three wheeler class for modern and classic machines. An ACU competition licence will be needed – road race or sprint/hillclimb - or you can purchase a one event competition licence at the event.
Machines will need to be road race compliant. EVERY BIKE WILL HAVE TO RUN AT LESS THAN 105DBA. THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTIONS.
Riders’ personal protection clothing will have to be ACU compliant. In practical terms, this means one piece leathers, an ACU Gold badged helmet, leather gloves and boots.
The Cavalcade is the Rocker's Delight8) Thundersprint Cavalcade:
Any machine, road or race, of any age.
Machines will have to undergo a basic
Darley Moor Paddock is huge and right next to the track.
9) We will
be using the main, grass paddock which is huge – 11 acres – and is
perfectly sited right next to the track. Cavalcade and Hillclimb bikes
will share the same paddock.
|Valentino Rossi’s Bike to Appear at Thundersprint 2014 With Phil Morris Racing Museum|
It’s not often you can get close up to Valentino Rossi’s actual World Championship winning machine but Phil Morris will be bringing one of the 125cc Nastro Azzurro Aprilias, on which Vale won the 1997 World Championship, to Thundersprint 2014, which will be held at the Darley Moor circuit over the weekend of May 10/11, 2014.
Valentino Rossi’s actual World Championship bike will be at the Thundersprint
Phil has one of the best collections of racing motorcycles anywhere in the world and is looking forward to having his GP style mobile museum at the Thundersprint. Phil said: “We have some fantastic bikes in the museum and we like bringing them to big events – and there’s none bigger than the Thundersprint.
Arch motorcycle enthusiast Phil Morris
“One of the things which makes the Phil Morris Racing Museum unique is that all our bikes are completely track ready. It’s just a question of filling them with fuel and firing them up. So, as well as Valentino’s bike we will bringing a whole collection of the factory V&M Yamahas. Nick Jefferies will be having a play in the Thundersprint on the ex-David Jefferies’ machine, which is one of my favourite V&M bikes.”
for a video tour of the
Phil Morris Museum
|Jim Redman Rides At Thundersprint 2014|
Jim Redman is six times TT winner and is one
of the very greatest names in the history of motorcycling. He will
lead a galaxy of classic motorcycling stars at next year’s Darley Moor
Thundersprint, which will be held over the weekend of May 10/11, 2014.
look forward to every single Thundersprint because it is the only
event in the year where I actually race – if only against the clock.
We think that Jim is so much a part of the Thundersprint family that the event would not have been the same without him. His charm, charisma, modesty and love of race fans make him a very special person and we are delighted, and honoured, that Jim is joining us at Darley.
Jim gets ready for blast off on Clive Brooker’s beautiful CR75
|Thundersprint Tickets On Sale Now|
Tickets are available on line from:
Spectator tickets for next year’s Thundersprint, which will be
held at the Darley Moor Circuit on May 10th and 11th next year, have
gone on sale – and at ground breaking prices!
Darley Moor Paddock is huge and will welcome all the competitors plus the camping
Camping for the whole weekend is £15, again if pre-booked.
The reality is that Mum, Dad, a couple of kids and the family dog can have a fantastic weekend of top quality entertainment for £25.00. This is a price which makes the Thundersprint accessible to the whole community – not just the committed, hard core motorcycle racing fans or the wealthy.
Classics will be spectacular on the beautiful Darley Moor track
Eddie Nelson, Secretary of the DMMCRRC who control the Darley Moor Motorsports Centre said: “We’ve got a fantastic venue at Darley, with excellent facilities in a truly beautiful setting located right in the centre of the country.
“We also have the room and infrastructure to host a major event like the Thundersprint although for the first year we intend restricting attendance numbers to 25,000 to ensure that we offer a world class customer experience.”
Tickets are available on line from: Thundersprint tickets
|Thundersprint at Darley Moor|
After the success of this year’s
Thundersprint at the Anglesey Circuit, the Thundersprint moves to the
heart of England for the 2014 event.
Darley Moor Track is great for riders and spectators
The enthusiasm for the move shown by regular
Thundersprint riders has been very pleasing with entries flooding in
for an event which is 11 months away. With the amount of interest
being generated we could run Thundersprint 2014 next week!”
... and provides fabulous
racing for classics with
superb spectator viewing.
We are keen to develop the facilities at Darley, for the benefit of the whole motorcycling community, and hosting the Thundersprint will enable us to do this.
“The DMMCRRC, and the Darley Moor Motor Sport Centre, will also benefit tremendously from the professionalism and marketing expertise of the Thundersprint. Together, we aim to put on the best event in the world.”
Here's a Lap of the Fabulous Darley Moor circuit