Melton racer Hart earns nine wins at dream Donington Park meeting

Ant Hart (left) on the podium after the prestigious Wheatcroft Trophy EMN-171008-095920002
Ant Hart (left) on the podium after the prestigious Wheatcroft Trophy EMN-171008-095920002
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Motorcycle racer Antony Hart turned in a sensational set of results at Europe’s biggest classic race meeting at Donington Park.

Not normally the strongest meeting for the Melton rider against a very high standard of competition Hart roared to nine wins as well as a second place finish in the prestigious Wheatcroft Trophy.

Hart raced to nine wins and five other podium places in 15 races at Donington EMN-171008-095906002

Hart raced to nine wins and five other podium places in 15 races at Donington EMN-171008-095906002

The meeting began a day earlier than normal on Friday morning with each practice session doubling up as qualifying for the championship races.

The Hart team qualified first on the Honda RS 125, second on the Yamaha 350 TZ and fifth in the superbike class.

He followed this by qualifying fourth for the ACU 350 race, and an excellent fourth for the Wheatcroft Trophy race which is open to any capacity bike. Racing opened aboard the David King 125 RS Honda where Hart had a terrific race-long duel with one of the country’s quickest female riders who took the win by a split-second.

The heavens opened for race two and Hart’s rival crashed on the first lap, breaking her ribs and stopping the race.

On the re-run Hart stormed to a clear victory, and repeated the trick in races three and four to clinch the championship with two rounds to spare.

With the Manchester Yamaha 500 three-cylinder having special parts manufactured, the team was given permission to run the smaller sister bike.

After only three laps of qualifying a broken chain damaged the engine, but after five hours of hard work, Arnold Fletcher totally rebuilt the engine and Hart missed only one race.

All of the hard work paid off with a superb second place on the road and first in his class, a feat he repeated in races three and four.

Hart then faced four championship races as well as the longer-distance ACU race and the top of the bill Wheatcroft Trophy aboard the Yamaha 350 GP bike – a total of 150 race miles.

The Leicestershire rider finished race one of the club championship in second behind in-form George Hogton-Rusling who has become the man and bike to beat.

Torrential rain just before the second race left Hart with no time to change the rear wheel and he slipped and slid to a brilliant third place.

Hogton-Rusling’s engine went bang in race three, leaving the Melton man to win the two remaining races and keep his championship hopes alive.

The first of the blue riband races was the ACU National Championship on a track still wet from the earlier storm.

But equipped with the right tyre, Hart rode safely to come home second to stay top of the championship by five points with one round left.

A huge turnout for the Wheatcroft Trophy saw 36 qualifying positions up for grabs and after qualifying fourth, Hart was promoted to third when a rival was pulled from the grid.

The big superbikes took off at the start, but as the race settled, Hart found his rhythm and worked his way through to finish in a magnificent second with one of the smallest engines in the race.

The Melton racer then capped a dream weekend by winning the fun Honda MT125 race, re-introduced especially for this meeting with some of the original riders from the first race 40 years ago.