On Track

As the speeds crept up, Don­ing­ton Park proved it­self a bril­liant hub of the clas­sic scene once again

Classic Racer - - WHAT’S INSIDE -

BHR and CRMC rounds from 3 Sis­ters, Cad­well, Don­ing­ton, Mal­lory and Snet­ter­ton.

The Don­ing­ton Park Clas­sic Mo­tor­cy­cle Racing Fes­ti­val, or­gan­ised by the Clas­sic Racing Mo­tor­cy­cle Club and pro­moted by MSV, has es­tab­lished it­self as one of Europe’s lead­ing such events, with its com­bi­na­tion of static and track-based dis­plays of his­toric race (and some road) ma­chin­ery, com­bined with trade/club stands and, of course, a full blown CRMC meet­ing (in­cor­po­rat­ing FIME Vin­tage cham­pi­onships) at its core.

As al­ways there were plenty of fa­mous faces to be seen around this year’s pad­dock and track, with Steve Par­rish seem­ingly pop­ping up ev­ery­where, in­clud­ing of course the com­men­tary box. Alex Ge­orge was equally as ac­tive and Char­lie Williams was kept busy be­tween chat­ting with the fans, sign­ing his book ‘CW’ and racing in the Lans­downe Se­ries.

John Cooper was also on hand all week­end to sign copies of his new book ‘Mooneyes’.

Run­ning through­out the week­end was the fifth round (of seven) of the CRMC’S 2019 cham­pi­onships with Sun­day’s pro­gramme fea­tur­ing the club’s two UK cham­pi­onships: the Min­no­va­tion/acu Clas­sic 500 and the Her­cberg In­ter­na­tional/acu Post Clas­sic. For the last decade the win­ner of the Don­ing­ton Post Clas­sic ACU round has had the ad­di­tional ku­dos of re­ceiv­ing the mag­nif­i­cent tro­phy named after the man who brought the cir­cuit back to life in 1977, Tom Wheatcroft.

To make race suc­cess even more sat­is­fy­ing Clas­sic Racer has tra­di­tion­ally pro­vided an ad­di­tional £1000 prize money, this year be­ing no ex­cep­tion with the race be­ing billed ‘The Wheatcroft Tro­phy pow­ered by Clas­sic Racer’.

CR’S Malc Wheeler was on hand to present the tro­phy and £500 win­ner’s spoils to Lee Hodge, who edged a bril­liant duel with Min­no­va­tion team-mate Joe Bar­ton that demon­strated a breath­tak­ing level of speed, skill and com­mit­ment on their near iden­ti­cal 1260 P&M Kawasakis.

The early stages saw John Di­eter­man Jnr (Du­cati TTF1 1199), Phil Atkin­son (Rose TZ350) and Richard Mol­nar (Mol­nar Du­cati TTF1 1199) in con­tention but they grad­u­ally lost touch with the Min­no­va­tion duo as they set a blis­ter­ing pace at the front.

Lap after lap Hodge and Bar­ton played a game of high-speed cat and mouse with back­mark­ers be­com­ing in­creas­ingly in­flu­en­tial and it was Hodge who grabbed a vi­tal ad­van­tage at the start of the tenth and fi­nal lap after Bar­ton went slightly wide at Redgate.

The win lifted Hodge back to within three points of Bar­ton in the cham­pi­onship with two rounds to go and saw him set a new CRMC out­right Don­ing­ton lap record at 1:12.752 – an as­ton­ish­ing 97.93mph.

At this rate, how soon might we be see­ing the first CRMC 100mph Donny lap?

1. Joe Bar­ton (106) and Lee Hodge (14) giv­ing it their all dur­ing their ti­tanic Clas­sic Racer Wheatcroft Tro­phy bat­tle. 2. CR’S Malc Wheeler en­joys a Wheatcroft Tro­phy start line chat with the CRMC’S Jono Yard­ley. 3. No pa­rade of his­toric race ma­chin­ery worthy of the name would be com­plete with­out one of these! 4. John Di­eter­man Jnr (Du­cati TTF1 1199) put in a strong ride to grab third place be­hind the fly­ing Min­no­va­tion Kawasakis. 5. Malc Wheeler wres­tles Lee Hodge for the Wheatcroft Tro­phy as Joe Bar­ton and team sup­port­ers look on. The re­sult left the Min­no­va­tion duo neck and neck in the Her­cberg In­ter­na­tional/acu Post Clas­sic cham­pi­onship with two rounds to go.

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