THE fight for top honours heated up between James McHardy and Harley Prebble as the two slugged it out in a record-breaking weekend of action at Donington Park.
Formula Prostocks Racing’s two Suzuki UK Motul Bandit Challenge front-runners continued their battle and even notched up new class lap records in three of the four races.
McHardy’s recent run of bad luck continued into race one after a collapsed rear wheel bearing during qualifying left him unable to set a time, which resulted in his starting from the rear of the grid.
A lightning start took him to sixth place by the first corner and in pursuit of his championship rival. And while he was up in Prebble’s wheel tracks just a couple of laps in with the quickest lap to boot, it wasn’t enough to stop Prebble taking the opening honours by 0.681 seconds.
Fast newcomer Carl Smalley rounded off the podium in third a further 10sec behind, with Ward taking fourth place overall and first place in a clean sweep of the over 55s championship as only one minute separated the top 20.
The two leaders battled nip and tuck yet again in race two with Prebble finally securing his second victory of the day by 0.706sec and setting a new class lap record of 1:19.696sec. Smiley was again third with Ward fourth and another newcomer, Lee Marks, securing a strong fifth.
For the first time this season, Sunday brought bright sunshine and favourable temperatures, causing no concerns around tyre choices.
A determined McHardy replied to the previous day’s results not only by taking the win by the narrowest of margins, 0.017sec, but also by setting yet another lap record of 1:19.456. Third place was again Smiley and Marks had his best result of the season so far with a fourth ahead of Ward.
But Prebble was back to winning ways in race four as he emerged victorious over McHardy by 0.740sec with, yet again, Smalley taking the final podium step ahead of Ward and Marks.
The Formula Prostocks Racing club heads Cadwell Park in a little under three weeks, where the front-running battle is set to resume.
*Image: EDP Photo News