The future looks bright for Stonehaven motorbike racer Darren Ross thanks to backing from the oil and gas engineering consultancy PD&MS Energy.
The Aberdeen-based business has agreed to provide long-term sponsorship to the up-and-coming north-east sportsman - beginning with the remainder of this season.
Twenty nine year-old Darren, who races his prized 2009 Kawasaki ZX-10R (top speed 189mph), competes as part of the Scottish Superbike Clubman’s Championship, run by Knockhill Motorsports Club in Fife.
The season runs from April to September.
The Clubman’s Championship is open to riders with no race experience and who hold a novice race license.
After his first year in the sport, Darren will be able to apply for a national licence which will allow him to enter races such as the British Superbike Championship.
In this, his first season of competitive racing, Darren is currently second in the championship at the half way point.
He has achieved eight podium finishes out of the first 10 races, winning two of these and setting a new Clubman’s lap record of Knockhill in his first race on the circuit.
Darren completed the circuit in 52.6 seconds, breaking the previous record by 0.5 seconds.
He said: “I really appreciate the support I’ve received from PD&MS Energy.
“This will go a long way to help pay for the rest of my season and has allowed me to upgrade the front suspension and brakes on my bike, something which is vital in raising my confidence in the front end of the bike.
“This has taken a big weight off my shoulders as I can now give my full concentration to the racing.
“I’m thoroughly looking forward to flying the PD &MS Energy flag for the rest of the season and seasons to come in the superbike class.”
Dave MacKay, chief executive officer of PD&MS Businesses was impressed with Darren’s start.
He said: “We’re delighted to support Darren in any way we can.
‘‘He has made a very impressive start to his racing career with very limited financial help, which is of great credit to him.
“Darren will be part of the PD&MS Racing Team along with Angus Mearns, who competes in the Superstock 600 class and is also having a great season.
“Angus has a lot of experience and can hopefully pass on some of his knowledge to Darren.”
A former pupil at Mackie Academy, Darren currently works as a fabrication workshop chargehand for an engineering firm.
He started riding road bikes in 2005, until around two years ago when he began to focus more on track days and realised that he had a natural talent for it.
Darren said: “So far it has been a massive learning curve for me.
“My main aim is to finish in the top two of this season’s championship.
“I also need to see a steady improvement in my lap times and riding to make me feel I’m heading in the right direction.
“My target for next year, with the help of PD&MS Energy, will be to lose the ‘clubman’s’ status and race in the Scottish Superbike Championship and the Melville Club Championship.
“Hopefully, if my lap times are fast enough, I can enter the British Superbike round racing in the Superstock 1000 category.
‘This would see me competing against the likes of John McGuinness, Simon Andrews and other established racers from across the United Kingdom.”