Jack Byrne secured victory in the second Vertu Motors MINI CHALLENGE Trophy race of the weekend at Brands Hatch as Tom Ovenden grabbed an unassailable lead in the championship standings.

The race had kicked off with Alex Keens on pole after his race one win, but he suffered a wide slide at Paddock Hill Bend on the opening lap which allowed Max Hall to nip through into the lead – with Keens plummeting down the order to sit outside the top ten.

As cars behind were forced to take avoiding action, Jack Byrne came through to second ahead of Sam Gornall, with championship contender Alex Solley amongst those to hit early drama with a sideways moment at Druids that dropped him back to ninth.

After a caution period to recover Ashley Gregory’s car from the gravel at turn one, which saw Hall lose the large lead he had opened up due to the incidents behind, the Westbourne Motorsport driver was able to lead the race throughout as he returned to the top step of the podium.

Hall was kept honest throughout by Byrne who tried to get ahead late on at Druids but couldn’t make a move stick and instead had to settle for second place as the rookie grabbed took the flag first.

“I’m really pleased with the win and it was a great battle with Jack late on,” Hall said. “We’ve had a few problems with the car and with me in recent events but we’ve been back on it here and I’m really happy to have got the victory.

“I was a bit worried at the start when Alex had his moment at turn one and I had to stand on the brakes, but I was able to avoid him and then it was a case of getting my head down at the front.”

However, Hall’s joy would prove to be short-lived, after an investigation into his battle with Byrne late on. Having examined the footage available, it was deemed that Hall had gained an unfair advantage when seeking to stay ahead, with a time penalty dropping him back to second spot and giving Byrne the race win.

Third would go to Gornall, but only after he emerged on top of a battle with Harry Hickton and then Nicky Taylor.

Hickton got into third on the fourth lap before slowing with mechanical issues five laps later which allowed Gornall to reclaim the spot having earlier briefly swapped places with Taylor.

Taylor followed him home in fourth place with Ovenden one spot back in fifth, which was enough to put him out of reach in the standings.

That was because of the fact that Solley’s race would unravel after a half spin at Paddock Hill Bend was followed by a spin at Graham Hill Bend that left him down outside the top 20.

It means that he slips behind Taylor to third in the standings going into the final race of the campaign, with the team-mates split by just three points.

Back on track, James Black took sixth spot ahead of Gabe Fairbrother, with Frankie Taylor, Keens and Jamie Keates rounding out the top ten – the latter enjoying his strongest race of the season to date.

The top five will be reversed on the grid for the final race, meaning Ovenden will lead the field away at the front.