Having become a regular contender for podium finishes, Rhys Hurd added his name to the list of winners in the Vertu Motors MINI CHALLENGE Trophy with a battling performance in the final race of the weekend at Silverstone.

Hurd has picked up a podium finish in the second race of the weekend which meant a second-row start for the reverse grid race, with Gabe Fairbrother instead lining up on pole position.

Fairbrother held the lead going into Copse for the first time ahead of fellow front-row starter Alex Solley, with Hurd and double-winner Nathan Edwards slotting in behind.

The lead would soon change as Solley grabbed the lead on the run up to Becketts where both Hurd and Edwards managed to nip ahead of Fairbrother, with Hurd then making a move on Solley into Brooklands to grab the lead.

Astonishingly given the impact of the tow on the action, that move would ultimately decide the winner of the race as Hurd remained out front until the finish, edging out a slender advantage over the pack behind that was good enough to ensure that he couldn’t come under serious attack from the field despite as many as ten cars running together in the early stages.

As Hurd controlled proceedings from the front, the fight for second would rage throughout, with Solley holding the position until lap six when he lost out to Fairbrother going into Copse – the rookie having managed to reclaim third from team-mate Edwards at Brooklands three laps earlier.

Fairbrother’s move also opened the door for Edwards to follow him through and whilst Solley would attempt to come back at him, Edwards had the right line into Brooklands to complete the move.

The EXCELR8 pair would close in on Hurd and brought with then Tom Ovenden and Nicky Taylor, both of whom were continuing their recovery from their incident in the opening race of the weekend on Saturday.

Ovenden briefly grabbed third from Edwards going into Copse only for Edwards to retake the place at Becketts, with Ovenden then coming under attack from Taylor going into Brooklands as Fairbrother and Edwards raced away to secure their podium finishes.

Taylor made a move stick on Ovenden to grab fourth – having also set the fastest lap – in the closing stages, with Harry Hickton demoting the championship leader back to sixth when he got the inside line through Luffield.

Ovenden’s challenge would fade still further when he lost sixth to Jack Byrne, which was a result good enough to give Byrne an unassailable lead in the Graduate Cup standings.

Ovenden therefore had to settle for seventh place, with the top eight being rounded out by Alex Keens, Reece Lycett and Solley – the latter having dropped back down the field on lap seven when he appeared to briefly slow on the run to Brooklands.

Lycett would be hit with a penalty post-race however for a clash with James Black that dropped him to 14th, promoting Solley a place and meaning Luca Marinoni Osborne completed the top ten.

With just the Brands Hatch season finale left to run in early November, Ovenden heads Solley by 30 points in the overall championship with Taylor, Byrne, Hurd and Edwards all still holding a mathematical chance of lifting the title.

Hurd only needs to finish one of the three races at Brands Hatch to secure the Rookie Cup title with a lead of more than 100 over James Black, with two Directors Cup wins from three for Lee Pearce meaning he has one hand on the class crown.