Nathan Edwards admitted his delight after grabbing a maiden podium finish in the Quaife MINI CHALLENGE Trophy at Brands Hatch.

Having started the campaign with MRM, Edwards switched to EXCELR8 Motorsport mid-season and headed to the season finale on the back of his strongest weekend of the year at Donington Park – where he grabbed three top eight finishes.

Qualifying saw Edwards score his best qualifying performance of the year to take third on the grid although he found himself shuffled back down to fourth in the early stages of the race.

However, when Alex Solley ahead made a small error after the mid-race safety car, Edwards was able to fight his way ahead at Paddock Hill Bend to grab third spot and maintained his position to the finish to grab his first silverware.

“To say the year has been tough is putting it mildly – it’s been the season from hell,” he said. “The guys and girls at EXCELR8 have really turned the car around and have also turned me around a bit as there were some bad habits that I needed to sort, and it’s great to have got the monkey off my back.

“We’d made some changes to the car after qualifying and we didn’t actually have the pace I was hoping for – it was the first time in a while that I’ve felt I was really having to hang on to the car. But we did a great job, and when Solley made the mistake and there was a chance to take third, I made sure I took it.”

The result led to emotional scenes in Parc fermé afterwards as Edwards celebrated the result with his family.

“It’s the first trophy since my mum passed away last December, so it was emotional,” he said. “I know she’d be looking down on me, and the target now is to go out there tomorrow and try to grab a win.”