From Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada- Ruthless Racing Inc.-sponsored Darren James opened his season at 71st in the running of the Daytona 200 Sportbike race, as well as the AMA Pro Road Racing, Vance and Hines XR1200® Series opening round, in which he achieved a solid 5th place finish.
Darren James, Manager, Racing Programs, for Deeley Harley-Davidson® Canada, brought the Harley‑Davidson® XR1200® Cup Series to Canada in 2011. He had a good first qualifying session, finishing sixth, and greatly improved in the second qualifying session, placing himself in contention with a good third-fastest time.
“I have to admit I was a little nervous. This was a big race,” commented James, going into Saturday’s final event.
As the race took off and the sound of Harley® thunder filled the Daytona bowl, a four-rider pack of handlebar-slamming action took a slight advantage over the rest of the field, with Darren James in hot pursuit. Bartel’s Harley-Davidson® riders, Michael Barnes and Tyler O’Hara, battled for the early lead while KWR Vesrah rider, Tyler Wyman, looked for an opportunity to jump into the fray. Ruthless Racing Inc./Trev Deeley Motorcycles-sponsored Dave Estok edged his way into the mix, dragging James along for good measure. The action was hot and furious and on the final lap, the lead riders jostled for that all-important positioning, leading off the banking, out of the draft, and into the final corners to see who could cross that famous checkered finish line first. With the Bartel’s Harley Davidson® riders embroiled in the lead, Wyman took the advantage of his spot and used the double draft to his every advantage, stealing the all-important first win of the season. Tyler O’Hara got a wheel ahead of Michael Barnes for second, while Estok grabbed fourth. Ruthless Racing Inc.-sponsored Darren James earned a hard-fought fifth-place finish.
James commented via Twitter afterward, “I want to thank all my supporters (Flexi-Glass, Dragon, Etnies, and Ogio) and I wish I could have done better, but that’s why they call it racing, not winning.”
Next, James will head out to Holmstead Miami Speedway for testing and will be back competing in the June 22‑24 season opener of the Mopar Canadian Superbike National Race Series at the Shannonville Motorsports Park aboard the Harley-Davidson® XR1200® motorcycle. For further information on the Canadian 2012 Harley-Davidson® XR1200® Cup Series, please refer to www.csbk.ca.