For the second year in a row, Peter Hickman claimed the “Stars at Darley” title with the Lee Hardy Racing rider taking two dominant victories at the 1.8-mile Derbyshire venue.
Riding the Briggs Equipment Superstock BMW, Hickman laid down a marker during qualifying when he lapped inside the old lap record to claim pole position and it put him in good stead for Sunday’s two races.
The first race saw fellow British Superbike rider Richard Cooper take an early lead as Peter made a steady start, eventually working his way past Honda riders John McGuinness and Michael Rutter. On the fifth lap, Peter made a good pass on Cooper to take the lead along the back straight and in his eagerness to fight back, Cooper then crashed exiting the hairpin.
The race was subsequently red flagged with the results giving Peter the win from McGuinness and Rutter and, despite the race only being five laps old, Peter set a new lap record of 102.54mph. Cooper, although uninjured, sat out the remainder of the meeting.
With good conditions all day at Darley Moor, the second race saw McGuinness grab the lead on the opening lap from Dan Kneen and Rutter with Peter again in fourth. With the race going the full 15 laps, there was plenty of time though and Hicky picked his way to the front although Rutter kept within striking distance. A better run through the backmarkers gave him a bit of breathing space though and he eventually took the win by 2.57s.
Lee Hardy, Team Owner: “There were the usual Darley shenanigans off the start line but Peter used his head, got into a rhythm and worked his way to the front on both occasions so to end the day with two more wins and retain our title is brilliant, particularly as he was on the Superstock bike. The Honda riders kept Pete honest, particularly Michael Rutter in the second race, but he had everything under control and with pole position, two wins and a new lap record, we’re over the moon.”
The team’s next outing comes this weekend at Brands Hatch where there’ll be contesting the final round of the 2015 British Superbike Championship.