Melton rider Antony Hart excels at Donington Park classic festival

Ant Hart leads the way at Donington Park EMN-150813-104732002
Ant Hart leads the way at Donington Park EMN-150813-104732002
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Melton’s Antony Hart had some illustrious company as he lined up at Donington Park for one of Europe’s biggest classic race festivals.

The meet was a who’s who of motorcycling with world, European and British champions and several Isle of Man TT winners.

Melton racer Antony Hart with his partner Laura EMN-150813-104721002

Melton racer Antony Hart with his partner Laura EMN-150813-104721002

But Hart was not overawed, riding to five class wins and only tyre problems denied the chance of further success.

The main feature of the weekend was the Wheatcroft Trophy which attracted all of the top riders, as did the ACU National Championship.

Saturday began with the club championship races which all the top teams used as extra practice for the main feature races.

With any one of 10 riders capable of winning, less than a second covered the first five home in the opening two races with Hart managing fine fourth-place finishes in both.

After qualifying fifth, the ACU race began with a great four-way fight for the lead.

But at half-race distance, and following two scary slides, the rear tyre had gone, persuading the Melton rider to back off and take another fourth position, a result which keeps him in touch with the championship leaders.

A new rear tyre was fitted for Sunday resulting in a win and second place in the opening club championship races.

The Wheatcroft Trophy was up next, and after all the pomp and ceremony of a Grand Prix. Hart made a great start and finished the first lap in fifth place.

But again at half-distance the rear tyre had deteriorated and he slipped slowly back to come home in eighth.

The Melton team also ran the 125 in all four club races which resulted in four class wins, beating his previous lap record by four seconds a lap.

Hart left Donington with his lead intact in two championships, while running a very close second in the other two.

Hart’s dad and mechanic Ron said: “We knew all along our small team would struggle to compete for victories against such high class, well-funded teams, but all in all it was a successful weekend.

“When we tallied up the race miles Ant rode 265 racing miles over the weekend, and these bikes are really physical to ride.

“I also want to give a big thank-you to Arnold Fletcher for his help.”

The penultimate race meeting of the season is at Lydden, in Kent, next month.