Jack Byrne declared himself pleased at maintaining his perfect record of Rookie Cup wins in the opening Quaife MINI CHALLENGE Trophy race of the weekend at Croft.

The Irish racer had scored his best qualifying result to date after securing P7 on the grid, but still found himself lining up behind rival Oliver Meadows on the grid after he too put in a personal best performance.

A tough opening lap for Meadows saw him slip down to tenth spot, which left Byrne to lead the rookie racers having maintained his seventh place – although he would then lose a spot to Charlie Mann just before the safety car was called into action.

After the restart, Byrne would keen Mann honest in the fight for seventh overall and crossed the line less than a tenth of a second behind as he wrapped up his fourth top eight finish of the campaign.

“We started from P7 after a very close qualifying session but we knew the race would be a different challenge,” he said. “I got a good start and passed Meadows for the rookie lead but the safety car mixed things up a bit in the middle of race and we ended up with eighth overall, just alongside Charlie.

“I’m delighted to have seven wins from seven starts for the rookies, and we’ll be pushing for another one when it comes to race two. We didn’t know where we would stand coming in this year and the series is so close, so hopefully we can keep pushing forwards.”