Winning results may be coming from an unexpected quarter this season, especially if Darrin Humphries has anything to do with it.
The 41-year-old Feilding man is a self-confessed “late-starter, an old racer and very much an outside chance” of winning a title when the new season’s national superbike championships kick off in January but evidence is already there that the traffic management consultant will be a strong contender for honours in the highly-competitive formula two class.
He crashed his 600cc Yamaha R6 out of the first formula two race at round four of the Victoria Motorcycle Club’s popular Actrix Winter Series at Manfeild just over a week ago but bounced right back with an impressive fourth-place finish in race two.
Despite that hiccup, he’s currently third overall in the series, behind Taupo pair Jamie Rajek and Travis Merkel, with two rounds remaining.
“I’ve only been racing two years but, with help from Yamaha New Zealand and TSS Red Baron in Petone, I have quickly found the speed I need to be competitive.
“I guess, at age 41, I’m a bit of a late starter and I know a lot of guys are reluctant to begin something like this later in life. But, honestly, if I can win races, then anyone can. There’s no reason why middle-aged guys shouldn’t give this a go. I think there is an untapped demographic there.
“It’s certainly a lot of fun.
“I’m racing a 2006 Yamaha R6 in the winter series but I have a new 2010-model R6 waiting at home for me. I’m in the process of getting that bike set up for me to race the International Tri Series (which kicks off in December) and the national championships too (which kick off in January).
“This will be the first time I have tackled either series. In fact, this is the first time I’ve tackled a full winter series too and I’ve exceeded all my expectations. I’m among the top three in the winter series and believe I can finish among the top 10 in the nationals. That’s realistic I think.”
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com