SHUBENACADIE, N.S. — Dartmouth, N.S.’s Darin Marshall spends most of his days at the track tuning for some of road racing’s stars. But he switched roles on Sunday morning to score a flag-to-flag victory in the Formula 46 Atlantic Roadracing League regional event at Atlantic Motorsport Park.
Starting from pole on his Honda CBR600RR, Marshall opened up a solid lead early and survived a midrace challenge from John Russell to finish 3.889 secs. clear of the Lawrencetown, N.S. racer’s Suzuki SV650. Matt Covey of Bridgewater, N.S. placed third aboard a Yamaha YZF-R6.
“I just tried to do what I’m always telling my racers to do,” joked Marshall. “I put in some fast laps early to try and break away but at mid-distance my pit board was showing ‘+0’ so I did a few more fast ones to try again. The bike worked fantastic and I was able to turn the fastest laps I’ve ever done here.”
Marshall recorded the fastest lap on lap 10 of the 12-lap race, a 1:11.597 around the 2.56km AMP circuit.
Russell narrowly avoided a jump start and ended the first lap 1.7 secs. down to Marshall, but by lap five had erased that margin. However, he was unable to respond to Marshall’s late push and had to settle for a runner-up finish.
“At two-thirds distance I made a few mistakes, drifted wide in a couple of turns and that was it,” he explained.
Covey felt lucky to even be on the grid, never mind on the podium, after he burnt out his clutch at the end of qualifying on Saturday.
“Fortunately I knew someone with an R6 they weren’t running and they were nice enough to install it for me,” he said. “I think we got the last screws back in five minutes before the start.”
Covey was being caught near the end by the battle for fourth, and finished just 1.312 secs. clear of Ardoise, N.S.’s Blaine Pellerine, who just held off Falmouth, N.S. racer Jeff O’Leary (whose son Austin had a pretty solid day at AMP). Both were also on R6s.
This duo had dropped the Honda CBR929RR of Lawrencetown, N.S.’s Kris Mount just after half distance, and he settled for sixth.
Jason Mount of Dartmouth, N.S. completed the finishers on his Kawasaki ZX-6R.
Gary McKinnon had qualified his SV650 fourth but crashed out of that spot in turn nine on lap three, but the Debert, N.S. rider was unhurt.
Halifax racer Dean Johnston, riding a Honda CBR600RR, was also a retirement after crashing unhurt in turn four on lap two.
The Formula 46 class is an open division, the key stipulation being that the combined age of rider and motorcycle must be at least 46 years old.
The ARL also ran a pair of Honda CBR125R Invitationals as part of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship weekend, and both were won by Jacob Shaw-O’Leary (Austin’s little brother). On Saturday he just edged Stillwater Lake, N.S.’s Connor Melee by 0.181 secs. at the line after a battle throughout the 12-lap race, with Windsor, N.S.’s Brandon Pemberton third.
Shaw-O’Leary had an easier time of it on Sunday, winning by 8.066 secs. while Melee had to contend with Pemberton, taking the runner-up spot by just 0.031 secs.
A brave ride was put in by Saint John’s Chalena Biggar, who came back from a shoulder injury sustained in a crash early in Saturday’s race to come back on Sunday and ride to a fourth place finish.
Formula 46 Race Results
1.Darin Marshall (Dartmouth, N.S.) Honda CBR600RR 14:20.881
2. John Russell (Lawrencetown, N.S.) Suzuki SV650 +3.889
3. Matt Covey (Bridgewater, N.S.) Yamaha YZF-R6 +33.135
4. Blaine Pellerine (Ardoise, N.S.) Yamaha YZF-R6 +34.565
5. Jeff O’Leary (Falmouth, N.S.) Yamaha YZF-R6 +34.877
6. Kris Mount (Lawrencetown, N.S.) Honda CBR929RR +48.873
7. Jason Mount (Dartmouth, N.S.) Kawasaki ZX-6R +1 lap
Did Not Finish
Gary McKinnon (Debert, N.S.) Suzuki SV650 2 laps
Dean Johnston (Halifax, N.S.) Honda CBR600RR 1 lap
Did Not Start
Jason Rideout (Dartmouth, N.S.) Yamaha YZF-R6
Steve Hoffarth (Orangeville, Ont.) BMW S1000RR
–By John Hopkins