Peter Darvill (1939 – 2010)
Peter began racing in the late forties, based deep in the Chiltern Hills he honed his skills breaking onto the scene in the early fifties with dramatic effect.
He designed his own motorbikes, taking the technologies of the day and amalgamating them into capable machines designed for one purpose… ‘To Win’…!!!
He went onto win numerous local events at tracks around the country, entering into whatever race he could fund. It was at one of these events that he had an opportunity to enter into an endurance race and it was this that ‘sparked’ something within him…..
Peter began to design machines to cope with the endeavours of prolonged stresses of racing, he developed and patented his PJD Vincent which took the capable Norton Featherbed frame and coupled this with the ‘monstrous’ Vincent twin 1000cc ‘Shadow’ engine. Peter had some great wins on this machine, eventually selling the patent to fund Darvill Racing (with himself as the main rider).
In the 1950’s Peter’s success grew, and his attention turned to the Isle of Man. His first race at the Manx Grand Prix on board the PJD Vincent in the 1957 Newcomers race he managed a respectable 17th. Peter’s talent drew the attention of MLG Racing Team, MLC were a BMW dealership in London and had entered a R69s into the 24hr Endurance race in Barcelona in 1959, they asked Peter to ride for them.
Peter was to partner Bruce Daniels and as was the set-up back then, they only had each other for the entire 24hr race. Peter had never ridden either this bike or a BMW, however they went onto win the race…!
This gave Peter and Darvill racing their ‘Big Break’. Peter returned to the Isle of Man and it took a further 4 years before he was able to lift the winner’s trophy whilst riding for the ’King’ of tuning Francis Beart…
From ‘64 through until ‘75 Peter was a regular on the ‘Mountain Course’ competing with the Legends of the day, Redman, Agostini, Read, Ivy (but to name a few), his best result here was a 7th place, which given the competition was remarkable.
Darvill Racing moved to Endurance Racing throughout the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s with successes in the World Endurance Championships, with overall wins in ’61 and ’70.
Darvill Racing is heading back to Endurance Racing after a break to resume where we left off…!
In the 1990’s Darvill Racing diversified and moved into Race Management and Sponsorships eventually in 1999 Peter took a break (for the first time since 1952) to concentrate on his business and retirement.
However, spending that many years in and around the race community leaves a lasting impression, and in the autumn of 2003, just four years after ’Retiring’ Peter was persuaded to assist Classic Endurance Racing by supplying a couple of machines for them to campaign (under the Sponsorship of Darvill Racing). Darvill Racing bikes had been entered into various road-race events, Bike Meetings , Bike shows (including invitations from the NEC and Staffordshire Bike Show), and Sprint events such as the Thundersprint.
This continued until February 2009 when we were approached to sponsor a rider in the TT, This was the signal that Darvill Racing was to return and we began preparations to race again under the Darvill Banner.
The 2009 season was harder than most, plagued by ‘racing luck’ we had some good wins but not at the ‘Blue Riband’ events (TT, Southern 100 and the Manx GP). This was compounded by the global credit crunch which meant that we lost some key sponsorship. However we had endured decades of ‘tough-times’ and we gritted our teeth and made it through.
2010 saw a return to our roots, competing in the Classic Bol d’Or after a twenty year gap. We rebuilt the 1979 Darvill Spondon, powered by an Honda RSC Engine and were able to finish in the top 10…!, additionally Chris Firmin (with support from Darvill Racing) went on to win the ACU Clubmans Sidecar Championship and also the MRO F1 Sidecar Championship.
Unfortunately the 2010 season will always be tarnished with the sad passing of Peter Darvill. Peter passed away on the Isle of Man in December, he didn’t get to see us back on a European Podium and we are committed to getting the result that eluded Peter for all those years.
2015 saw us reach 3rd in the European eBike Championship launching us into 2016 on a high. This season didn’t disappoint seeing multiple finishes at pure road racing events including a top 20 finish at the Classic TT, a major achievement given the high quality field!
For 2017 we have decided to take a step back and whilst not fielding any Darvill bikes we will be supporting a couple of riders so expect to see the Darvill Team in the paddock once again.