Melton racer Antony Hart made to battle as national championshps hot up

Hart leads the way in a highly-competitive 125 race EMN-180821-171342002
Hart leads the way in a highly-competitive 125 race EMN-180821-171342002
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Motorcycle racer Antony Hart managed to hang on to his domestic championship leads as he continues his fight on two fronts.

The Melton rider’s chief aim this year is the International Classic Grand Prix Series, which he currently leads.

But he is also keen to retain his crown in the national Classic Racing Motorcycle Championship and headed to Donington Park for the latest round.

The race action formed part of the Donington Park Classic Motor Cycle Festival, with the usual CRMC championship rounds as well as the ACU Trophy race, all packed into three days.

The weekend started on board the David King Honda 125 which he qualified in first place.

Race one saw Hart make a break immediately and take the win by three seconds, but the next three races followed a different pattern as other riders pulled up their pace to match.

Instead frantic three-way battles followed with positions changing at almost every corner of every lap, with different winners in two of the three races. Despite setting a new lap record, Hart only managed a second-place finish in all three races, less than a tenth of a second off the lead.

Dad Ron said: “It was a truly wonderful spectacle to watch, but very nerve-racking if it’s your son that’s in such close racing!”

Next up was the team’s own bike, complete with a freshly rebuilt engine from the previous meeting.

Qualifying in third place from 36 riders, Hart was lying in the same position when the red flag came out and stopped the race, and the result was declared.

But disaster struck when the bike wouldn’t start again, with a check revealing a spark plug had broken and fallen into the engine, wrecking one side of it.

After another late-night engine rebuild, with borrowed second-hand parts, Hart returned to the grid the following day with the bike running remarkably well.

The Leicestershire rider brought it home in a very comfortable third place, up against two of the country’s top classic racers.

In race three Hart ran wide on the last lap while battling for third, leaving him in fourth at the flag.

He then managed to haul himself up into second in the final race, and when the leader had to retire with mechanical failure, hart took the win.

The ACU race was expected to be difficult against bikes with bigger engines, and Hart was only allowed five laps of qualifying after the session was red flagged due to an incident .

Happy with fifth place among a grid of 40 riders, Hart kept hold of fifth after the flag dropped and reeled in the fourth-placed rider.

He passed his rival twice on the last lap, but couldn’t hold the position on the straight against a much more powerful bike, and had to settle for the final place among the prizes.

Ron added: “This prestigious meeting always brings out extra riders so we were very pleased with all our results.

“Ant is still leading the Honda RS 125 and the Yamaha TZ 350 championships, but it will be very difficult to hang on to the lead as our next race meeting clashes with the international series in Germany.”