Jones Dorling Racing 2006-2016

Jones Dorling Racing began as a local team from the Cotswolds in late 2006. Back then the team was local rider Michael Elliott from Honeybourne, who began his racing career on 125cc machinery and moving up a 600cc Suzuki. Chris Jones had been helping Michael a number of years at club level, by supplying sponsorship of tyres and fuel costs, before helping lead the team from 2007 after Michael approached Chris in mid 2006 and asked wether he would be interested in working for the team full time; due to the higher running costs of club level. After some early success with the team Chris chose to move Mike into the national level in National Superstock. This was a huge step up for the team which consisted of Michael’s Father, Grandfather and local mechanic/plumber Mark Steed. 

 

2006 Highlights:

 

Bought a new race truck to facilitate the team and equipment

Bought a new awning to put on the side of the racetrack to facilitate larger working space

Gather a few new sponsors as well as funding the team himself (Chris)

Join the Metzler National Superstock Cup racing series which supports the British Superbike Championship.

 

 

2007 and the team had now expanded greatly and was becoming a known presence in the paddock. Chris collaborated with Michael’s dad and bought two brand new Yamaha R1 superbikes for Michael to compete with in the series. The local area to the team were also growing in support and interest as they found that this local tea were competing at the national level. Chris managed to secure quite a few large sponsorship deals that meant we could comfortably run the entire race season at a competitive level, even though this was the big learning year for Michael with new machinery and new tracks to compete on. During the 2007 season Michael progressed well and even managed to score his first top 15 finish in the season, something that was above our expectations, bearing in mind we were a new team competing against people who have raced in this series for a long time. The 2007 season was a steep learning curve and made 2008 promise to be an exciting season to look forward to. The team also in 2007 managed to obtain a few new team members; Family friends Ben & Anne Blackmore. 

 

2008 saw a drastic change to the season, with a one bike rule coming into place, this meant that the 2 bikes that we had were no longer legal. This meant a few cost and management changes. The team managed to fix this issue by dismantling one for spare parts. The team also acquired a new co manager in the shape of Neil Dorling, a Quantity Surveyor from Falmouth. Neil owned another team and was running his son, Drew Dorling in the series, but after a few major accidents and the arrival of his son meant that he chose to retire from racing. Neil joined us and became the financial manager. The 2008 series was a mix of ups and downs with machinery issues. Nonetheless the team; now called C&D Autos Racing, had a successful year with regular top 20 finishes. 

 

2009 Was again a year of mixed results very quiet year with the team staying still within the results, Michael didn’t have the best of years and the team continued on as it did so in the 2008 season. The team did venture onto the world stage at one point for a larger race, the World Superbike championship as a support race.

 

2010 saw local company Phoenix Security joining forces with C&D Autos racing. Phoenix security was ran by Team Owner Chris Jones’s brother; allowing for more track time and opportunities.  Michael still rode the same bike that the team bought a few years ago, but it was still a competitive machine against the vastly more technical BMW and Aprillia machines.   2010 saw the team head to the Moto GP UK round at Silverstone where the team supported the largest Motorcycle racing championship in the world, with legends such as Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards would be racing. However the rest of the 2010 season did not go to plan, with Michael suffering a huge crash at Thruxton, seriously injuring his arm. Michael and the team didn’t join the racing championship for the next three rounds whilst he recovered from his accident. This didn’t stop the team planning for the future as the team decided that now was the time to upgrade the machinery being used for Michael to compete on. A new Kawasaki Zx10R 1000cc superbike was purchased for Michael to compete on in 2011

 

 

2011 saw 2 big changes, a new name: C&N Racing, and a brand new Kawasaki ZX10R. Michael was back to full fitness and ready for a challenge on the finest machinery. A few crashes and unfortunate results that Michael and the team would part ways after 6 rounds and 5 years of racing together. Mid way through 2011 the team acquired a new rider called Danny Johnson from Reading. With Danny acme along two new members of the team, mechanics Mark Barkaway and Ben Herbert who Danny requested join the team. The whole team dynamic changed overnight. In Danny’s first race he finished in 7th place, a career best for Danny and the team who’s previous best was 15th place 3 years ago. Danny also took the team into the public eye and supplied a  wealth of support from Reading and Danny’s fans meant that the team could look to the future of 2012 and running with Danny for the whole season title assault.

 

 

2012 and the team took another step up once again with several large sponsors joining the teams success and the team growing in size once again with 2 new team members; John Gardner & Anne Cole. In 2012 the team finished every single race, a best finish of 6th place in a race and qualifying on the front row for the final race of the year. However the season wasn’t without fault, before this the team attended a World Superbike support round where Danny crashed the bike in a Qualifying session, resulting in buying a new bike within 2 hours of the crash and a complete build session undertaken in less that 10 hours. This only made the team’s efforts much stronger and from then onwards Danny pushed his and the teams limits to 8 top ten finishes and a 14th place finished in the championship. The team was ready for the 2013 season. However in November 2013 Danny Johnson chose to leave the team to further his progress. In December 2012 when the team was preparing for the 2013 season, they announced up and coming star from Ireland Cody Nally for the 2013 title assault.

 

 

2012 saw the sad news that Neil Dorling had Stage 4 Lung Cancer and unfortunately he passed away in January of 2013. This was a huge loss to the team as he was such a massive part of the team and would be greatly missed by the entire race paddock. He was known to the majority of people for his forward yet generous attitude towards the racing. His name will remain in the name of the team for as long as the team runs and is laid to rest at one of the UK’s most popular race tracks: Brands Hatch.

 

The beginning of 2013 was a difficult time due to the passing of Neil Dorling. Nonetheless the team aimed to continue on in memory of Neil and to do him proud. With the arrival of Cody Nally, Paul Schnell was also joining the team as technical expert and advisor to the team. Michael Elliott also made a return to the team as chief mechanic after working for several teams after retiring as a rider in 2011. Cody raced for the team until April 2013 when he chose to part ways with the team and  continue to race back in Ireland.

 

One week before the 3rd round of the season Ashley Beech was acquired by the team to continue on for the rest of the 2013 season. Ash was a well known rider within the paddock history as a formidable rider in the 125cc motorbike classes and known worldwide for his triumphant crash at Donington Park in 2011. Ash then was out of his depth yet after his first race he finished 20th on his first outing. The season continued with quick progression to Ashely finished 7th as Cadwell park and getting noted for his great progress and the great effort that the team was doing (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h10RX4CH9lg). Donington Park came around and unfortunately Ashley crashed the bike at the same spot as his infamous crash live on TV and the bike was destroyed, emptying the team’s budget for the entire weekend. However the team replenished this with new sponsor joining and Ash managed to finished off the season with a Pole Position start at Brands Hatch, the first that the team and Ash had ever had in this class. The season ended on a high and Ashley secured a deal to race on into the 2014 season with JDR, including testing abroad in Spain. The team decided that this was the year to trade in the old Kawasaki and replace it with a new one as the bike was worn and old.

 

2014 was the year where JDR believed that with Ash at the helm they could take a real charge at the front of the racing class. The class was to be it’s most competitive ever with stars from all over the world joining the domestic racing series and our class. Testing proved successful for the team but at round one another rider collided with as and destroyed the bike after two laps. Ash was completely unharmed but the bike was destroyed. The team managed to recover but it took 5 rounds for the bike to be correct. There was such little time for the bike to be repaired in and the 2nd-5th round were littered with errors on the bike. Eventually the issues were resolved yet half of the season had been wasted and a third of the budget was gone, but the bike was right for what Ash needed to do. The team were invited to join a race at the World renowned racing series Moto GP once again at Silverstone where Ash excelled back into the top 10.  This continued for the next few round with Ash and the team receiving several awards for our work and a huge amount of tv coverage during the races, including a fan and team favourite of Ash racing against JDR’s former rider Danny Johnson for a fierce 14 lap dash at Silverstone in October 2014. For the last race of the year, the bike had a special limited edition colour scheme and were celebrating our success over the year. Ash qualified in 7th place and was the star of the weekend, as quoted by tv commentator Jack Burnicle. Ash was on TV for the majority of the race and excelled in drying track conditions to finish in 4th place and surging to 20th place in the championship. The best season on record for the team and Ash.

 

2015 began with the acquisition of a deal with MSS Performance (Engine and Kawasaki Specialists) to work on our bike and to help maintain it during the oncoming season. This meant several trips from the Cotswolds down to Colchester to collect the bike and oversee the progress. In March of 2015 the team headed to the South of Spain to the track Circuito De Velocidad De Cartagena, somewhere Ash had excelled at in the past with other teams and machinery. Ash had stepped up the mark of his fitness and training over the winter already with several trips out to another track in the south of Spain called Circuito De Almeria. Ash was also bought another Kawasaki ZX10R by his personal sponsors in which to test on during the winter season, this benefited Ash and the team when they headed out to the official BSB test as Ash was already bike fit and ready to surge on the teams race bike. The test was a complete success with 4 days in the sun dialling in the bike and achieving the maximum speeds and the best times out there. Many small issues were resolved early on in the test which would prove crucial as if these issues were spotted later on in the season it would have been disastrous for Ash and the Team. Ash was by far the fastest Superstock 1000 rider whilst out in Spain with a best lap of 1:37:0 and was faster than previous Champion Alistair Seeley also on a superstock BMW but using Slick tyres, something not allowed n our class and are far more effective than the near road legal tyres we race on in the UK.

 

Back in the UK and after a successful fundraiser night which raised over £2500 for the teams season, we were quickly at Donington Park for Round 1 of the championship. The round would prove daunting as the season would be the first one for the team that could see them with a real fighting chance for the championship. The first round was a complete success with Ash securing a 5th place finish at the first round and was notably on everyones thoughts as he was suddenly throw into the limelight as people wanted to know who he was. Round 2 of the championship was unfortunately a real blow for the team as Ash suffered a broken foot and hand after sustaining a fast crash onto the Clearways section of Brands Hatch, where he finished 4th place at only 6 months ago. The rest of the season was a mixture of ups and downs with podium finished missed out due to technical issues and fierce battles with racing legends. the team finished 13th in the Championship.

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2016 picked up where 2015 left of with the teams progression in the class. The team aquired a brand new race truck and setup which was built and prepared throughout the winter with the help of R Adams & Sons. The truck would improve the teams presence in the paddock and help attract sponsorship in the increasingly expensive class. The race setup was a huge boost to the team along with a few new additions in the form of 2 teammates for Ash in the shape of Jesse Trayler and Matt Pearce. Also this year Kawasaki decided to unveil a brand new ZX10R which was claimed to be the best in it's class and would change the Superbike and Superstock class all around the world. The decision was made to upgrade to this machine from MSS Performance and take it for first testing in Cargtagena, the first point of testing for the season. However it was clear that from the off that there were several issues with the bike, varying from setup, Electronics to European Emission regulations affecting the bikes coming from Japan to race in Europe. The team worked hard throughout the test and the first few rounds to rectify these problems, but the answer was clear. Due to the Euro4 emission laws the bike wouldn't be able to compete at the top of our class due to its handicap. After 4 round and a support race at World Superbikes, Ash and the team decided that after a highest finish of 7th on the Kawasaki at Knockhill, it was time to leave the Kawasaki behind and move onto a machine that was capable of breaking the top 5 barrier again. The team switched to BMW from Snetterton and Ash fell in love with the S1000RR and immediately was on the pace (after converting the bike from Road Racing Spec, the bike previously raced by Lee Johnston). After a few changes in Machinery and colours Ash was back up the top and fighting for the top steps. At the end of the season Ash was racing in the final round at Brands Hatch and was fighting for the podium in mixed conditions, and was sadly caught up on a white line on track and Highsided, ending his chances of a podium and finishing 12th in the Championship. After some concussion and relaxation The team decided to head to Valencia for the final round of the Spanish Superbike Series, where Ash finished Top Brit and 10th in the Superbike Class, the only difference on his bike being Slick Michelin tyres as opposed to treaded Pirelli tyres.

© 2019 JDR by Tom Jones 

© Bonnie Lane Photography

Michael Elliot 2006