And now we come to Donington. And what a treat the Leicestershire track served up for us. Sunshine! Yup, you heard us, sunshine. We might have to say that again. SUNSHINE!!
As far as qualifying went on Saturday, Ant Hodson, seemingly recovered from the injury he received at Cadwell, took pole, an impressive 0.82 seconds ahead of Phil Atkinson. Making a welcome return to the 250 ranks was Chris Martin, taking third. Dan Jackson, Bruce Dunn and Dave Hampton filled the second row. A great grid comprised of 26 250s accompanied by 11 125s in their championship. Well done chaps.
Come race time, Hodson led for the first couple of laps, hotly followed by Martin. Atkinson promoted himself to first by the end of lap 3 and went on to win in fine style. Hodson, despite his injury, held second place with Martin third. The minor places were filled with Jackson in forth, Thomas Lawlor in fifth and Dave Hampton sixth.
Bruce Dunn, Darrell Higgins and Rich Grinling ap-peared to enjoy themselves in the sunshine, with Mark Linton, Simon Hunt and Paul Metcalf following along behind. A good race with the leading pair both posting fastest laps in succession.
In the NG Cup, Steven Howard came home a couple of seconds ahead of Henry Cox, with Ian Austin third.
And onwards to Sunday. Once again, Donington blessed us with sunshine and blue skies with a smattering of high clouds.
A notable absentee from the grid was Ant Hodson, having touched a kerb with his knee during morning warm-up aggravating his Cadwell injury ruling him out of the race!
Once again, Atkinson stomped off the line with Chris Martin settling down in second place. The unfortunate Gary Vines overcooked it into the first bend and finished up in the kitty litter. Rider and bike survived, but the bike? Only just!
The first two places stayed as was until lap 9, when Martin took over first place. Jackson took third from Dunn on lap 5 and seemed to have that place covered, though Bruce wasn’t about to let him get too far ahead. Hampton settled down into fifth.
Once again, Grinling and Higgins swapped places several times, with Lawlor making a nuisance of himself into the bargain. Soon Adrian Martin and Linton joined in the fun too.
On the final lap, Atkinson squeezed past Martin to take the top podium place. Jackson, who seemed destined for a third place, was baulked by a tail-ender and trailed home a slightly annoyed fourth, being passed by Dunn during the incident and he grabbed the remaining trophy.
In the NG Cup, Howard again triumphed with Cox in second and Austin third. John Hogg was fourth.
All in all, a jolly good time was had by all, (with a few exceptions!), and the weather was very kind.
Let’s hope the good weather lasts for the rest of the season. Oulton Park next! Championship standings after rounds 5 + 6 National Championship:
1 Phil Atkinson 125
2 Daniel Jackson 87
3 Rich Grinling 79
4 Dave Hampton 70
5 Ant Hodson 60
NG Cup Championship:
1 Henry Cox 105
2 Tom Snow 50
3 Steven Howard 50