Former Renault UK Clio Cup competitor Rob Smith secured a maiden victory in the Mini Challenge with a star performance in the penultimate weekend of the season around the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit.
Last week, Smith confirmed that he would complete the remainder of the Mini Challenge season with backing from Pirelli after deciding to end his Clio campaign following a huge testing accident at Oulton Park in June.
In only his third weekend of racing in the Mini series, Smith bounced back from an opening lap retirement in race one at Silverstone to storm through from fifteenth on the grid to seventh in race two.
That proved the foundation for a superb race three for Smith in his Excelr8 Motorsport Mini, the 22 year old starting superbly to move up from seventh to second place over the course of the opening couple of laps.
Quickly onto the tail of leader Hamish Brandon, Smith snatched the advantage on lap three and led the remainder of the race to take his maiden win by 2.6 seconds.
“I can’t believe I won that one starting where we did,” said a delighted Smith. “All in all I‘m very pleased, after the way this year has gone in the Clios it’s great to turn it around and get the sort of result we’ve deserved. I’m pretty chuffed! Huge thanks to Pirelli and Excelr8 for their support, it’s fantastic to get the win.”