Melton racer Antony Hart claims championship podium finishes

Hart attempts to negotiate the treacherous race conditions EMN-190608-162948002
Hart attempts to negotiate the treacherous race conditions EMN-190608-162948002
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Champion motorcycle racer Antony Hart relinquished his International Classic Grand Prix title after an eventful weekend at Donington Park.

Hart had to juggle two championship rides at the East Midlands circuit which hosted the latest round of the GP Originals championship as well as the English round of the ICGP Championship series.

The English summer couldn’t provide Continental weather, with torrential rain from Friday evening through to the meeting finish on Sunday night.

The weekend started with qualifying for the GP Originals in difficult conditions, but topping the session gave the Melton rider a promising start to the weekend, while the man to beat, Phil Atkinson, had machine troubles and didn’t set a time.

Hart made his customary good start and led away, but within three laps Atkinson had worked his way through the field to third.

It was now raining solidly and on lap four, Hart hit a join in the Tarmac and locked the front wheel.

With lightning reactions he managed to stay on the bike, but had a trip through the gravel trap before rejoining the circuit, dropping him down to eighth.

He worked himself back up to third, only to hit the same patch again and repeat the same trip through the gravel.

Again he stayed on board and worked himself back up to third, setting the fastest lap before deciding to settle for a safe third place.

Another great start in race two saw Hart set a terrific pace before Atkinson got through the traffic.

This time Dan Jackson went with Hart, but crashed out trying to stay in touch, leaving the Leicestershire racer a clear winner by 45 seconds.

Races three and four were two-way cat-and-mouse affairs after Jackson had damaged his bike beyond repair.

Atkinson sneaked the win in both times by taking the lead on the last corner and leaving Hart no chance to fight back.

Having only competed in two meetings, Hart finished third in the championship and is considering a return next year.

Going into the last round of the ICGP series, an error in qualifying saw the team forget to fit the timing transponder, leaving Hart without an official time.

He was given a ninth-place start, but after making good early progress, a huge slide down the Craner Curves dropped him back to fifth place.

Hart regrouped and pulled himself back up to the leaders, but just ran out of time and finished a very close second.

The second and final race turned into an anticlimax.

With the championship sorted and the rain still falling relentlessly, many of the Continental riders left early, and after four laps the normally faultless Manchester Yamaha got water into the ignitions, forcing Hart to retire.

Again having scored in only two meetings, Hart finished third in the championship.

Hart returns to Donington for the Classic Club Championship meeting.