ICGP: Classic clean sweep for Atkinson

In Classic, News

PHIL Atkinson took full advantage of his ICGP appearance at Anglesey this weekend and made it a clean sweep as he beat series front-runners Mike Edwards and Ant Hart.

And while Hart still leads the championship with two rounds to go, Edwards has more than halved his lead and moved up into second place, trailing by a mere six points.

While it was nigh on impossible for any bikes to hit the wet Welsh circuit on Saturday morning, the TZ350 and 250-filled International Classic Grand Prix series finally got on track at 4pm for practice and qualifying.

One of the UK’s busiest racers, Atkinson took advantage of mostly dry conditions to take pole position ahead of Edwards and Ian Simpson, with Hart and Mike Hose not far behind.

Atkinson was unstoppable, even for the likes of reigning champion Edwards...
Atkinson was unstoppable, even for the likes of reigning champion Edwards…

In the 250cc battle, Nigel Palmer had clocked the fastest time with Mark Rogers, Yves Hecq and series leader Stefan Tennstadt on his tail.

When the first race got underway just after noon on Sunday, Hart grabbed the holeshot in front of Simpson and Edwards. But red flags came out at the end of the first lap after Jean Paul Lecointe’s crash.

At the restart, it was Simpson who led and even stretched a small gap at the half-way mark, but Edwards and Atkins bridged the gap just as Simpson was forced to retire with engine issues.

The two front-runners duked it out for the remaining few laps, but South African Atkinson managed to pass Edwards under braking at the end of the straight and pull a small gap that he held all the way to the finish, while Hart battled his way back up the order to finish third.

In 250 class, Palmer set the lap record and took the win from Hecq and Tennstadt.

Taking advantage of even more clear skies, the classics rolled back out for their second race of the weekend, where Hart once again got the best start while Edwdards and Atkinson tucked in behind.

But Atkinson had already got ahead by the end of the first lap as he and former champ Edwards diced for the lead.

Classic ace Edwards hit the front for a few laps, but eventually had to settle for second after Atkinson got ahead and cleared off, taking the chequered flag over six seconds clear of Edwards, with Hart in a lone third once again.

Palmer bagged another 250 win after taking the early lead, while Tennestadt retired with gearbox issues and left Hecq and Bob Keller to complete the podium.

The hotly-contested ICGP series resumes next month at Hockenheim before the final at Interlagos in Brazil on 1 and 2 December.

*Click here for full results from ICGP Round 3 at Anglesey

*Image: Neil Lambert

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