Rhys Hurd admitted he felt ‘over the moon’ after becoming the latest new winner in the Vertu Motors MINI CHALLENGE Trophy at Silverstone.

Hurd went into the weekend looking to build on his best weekend of the campaign at Donington Park, where the Chandler Motorsport driver grabbed a hat-trick of podium finishes – taking him onto four for the season as he extended his advantage in the race for the Rookie Cup.

Qualifying ninth on the grid for race one having saved his best lap until the final moments of the session, Hurd fought his way through to fifth in the opening race of the weekend before he emerged on top of a huge fight for second place in race two.

With the top four on the grid then being reversed for the final race, Hurd lined up in third spot but wasted little time in getting to the front as he edged ahead of Gabe Fairbrother at Becketts before sliding down the inside of Alex Solley to grab the lead at Brooklands.

Despite the fact he was then left to punch a hole in the air for the cars behind, Hurd was able to hold station at the front to become the 40th driver to win in the Cooper class, with the victory also being the first for the Chandler squad in its debut season.

“It feels absolutely great to have grabbed a win,” he admitted. “At the start of the year, it wasn’t something I was really expecting considering we were a new team to the series, but we’ve got closer and closer to the front as the season has gone on.

“We had a great weekend at Donington Park and when I was back on the podium in race two, I knew there was a chance to fight for the victory with the pace we had in the car. When I hit the front so early in race three, I knew I’d have to defend if I wanted to stay there and I couldn’t be happier with the result.

“Credit to the team for giving me a great car, and picking up an overall win in my rookie season is brilliant.”

Hurd will now go into the final round as one of the drivers in mathematical contention for the championship title, although the Rookie Cup crown is a more straightforward affair – with a single race finish all that is required to wrap up the class title.

“These final three meetings – at Donington, Silverstone and then back at Brands Hatch – are three I was looking forward to as they all suit me,” he said. “I’m also a lot more comfortable in the car now, which leaves me really confident for a strong finish.

“It’ll be a big ask to try and win the overall title given the standings, as we’d pretty much need a clean sweep and for the others to have problems. However, we pretty much only need to finish to wrap up the Rookie Cup, which would be a great achievement.”