Melton motorcycle race ace Antony Hart was in tremendous form to bag two international podium finishes in the south of France.
The Len Manchester Motor Cycles Classic Racing Team returned to action in the opening round of the 2016 International Classic Grand Prix series at the world-famous Paul Ricard circuit.
Hart arrived fresh from his podium finishes at the recent Classic Clubs Pembrey meeting and expectations were high.
With only one timed practice session to determine grid positions it was important to settle quickly and Hart did just this, consistently reducing his lap times.
He was up to seventh quickest when disaster struck and he was sent crashing out after the bike lost traction and high-sided the rider.
Back in the pits the team set to repairing the bike and discovered the cause of the spill – a broken water pump had allowed the engine to overheat and blown water out onto the wheel.
The damage was repaired overnight with a new drive gear fitted, and Hart was ready for racing.
He opened with a couple of steady laps to make sure everything was running smoothly before quickly upping his pace, moving up to third and holding the position to the finish.
Race two was scheduled for Sunday afternoon and after a change of gearing, Hart went one better.
He was lying in second place when the race was red-flagged and stopped following a multiple accident.
Again Hart was brought down through no fault of his own, but his second place stood in the final analysis.
Team manager Arnold Fletcher said: “Ant has matured into one of the top riders on the international scene, and with father Ron involved with the preparation, we are well capable of running at the front.
“After the problems of the previous day, a podium finish in race one was a brilliant result and a testament to the rider and team’s determination to succeed.”
Hart’s next outing will be at Croft, in Yorkshire, with the CRMC club where he will compete on his Yamaha TZ350 and a special 500cc Yamaha Triple, built by Len Manchester Motorcycles.