Nicky Taylor revealed he had tears in his eyes after the EXCELR8 driver secured a breakthrough victory in the Quaife MINI CHALLENGE Trophy at Croft.

The teenager had shown flashes of pace so far this season, most notably at Thruxton where he secured a solid podium finish and at Oulton Park, where he qualified on the second row of the grid.

Taylor qualified in fifth place for the opening race of the weekend at Croft but quickly made up places at the start to run inside the top three, where he would remain for the entire race bar one lap as Joe Wiggin battled his way through the field.

Taking the flag in third place, Taylor then moved up into second post race when Louie Capozzoli was handed a time penalty.

From fourth on the grid for race two – held on a damp but drying track – Taylor quickly battled ahead of Alfie Glenie into the top three and then overhauled Harry Nunn and Dominic Wheatley to secure the lead.

Although Wheatley briefly got ahead at Tower on the final lap, Taylor came back at him immediately to reclaim the lead at Sunny and held on to secure victory for the first time.

“It’s been a great weekend for me,” he said. “I know that those conditions favour me because I like the wet and in the second race, I really wanted the win. Dom managed to get ahead of me at Tower but then I got a run on him going down to Sunny. I stuck my nose down the inside, and there was no way I was going to lose that race!

“I was crying when I came over the line because it means so much to me to win a race, but it’s also been great for me amongst the rookies because Louis [Capozzoli] and Alex [Solley] haven’t had the best results.

“That means I’m ahead of them in the points going to Thruxton, so it’s been a good weekend all round.”