MINI Challenge front-runner Ollie Pidgley departed Rockingham International Super Sportscar Circuit with his best result yet with a pair of sixth places.

He is now eyeing his maiden category silverware sooner rather than later, when the series moves to the Snetterton 300 Circuit in Norfolk for the third meeting which is over the weekend of May 26 and 27.

The 20-year-old from Downton was competitive throughout the second event of his rookie season qualified an excellent fifth in the wet.

“It’s been a weekend of mixed feelings,” said Pidgley, “To get two top six finishes was a huge step forward from Oulton Park, so I can’t complain about that at all, and qualifying inside the top five for the first time in the MINI Challenge was great. I do believe we could have achieved more, there was a damper issue and a few small mistakes, but with a good haul of points we have a lot to build on.”

After qualifying fifth, he made a good start in race one and avoided a tangle to climb into third place.

After a spell behind the safety car and on the re-start soaked up pressure from Calum King, he maintained his podium placing until lap five when bundled back to fifth place behind both King and former British GT Champion James Gornall. Pidgley, though, stayed in touch with the duo ahead.

Moving into the top four at the expense of Gornall on lap nine, he was edged back to fifth on the penultimate lap where he stayed to the chequered flag.

Post-race, it became clear damper failure had been resulting in a loss of time each lap, compromising the true competitiveness of the No.3 MINI by instigating rapidly increased tyre wear.

Beginning race two from third on the grid, the Old English Properties, MSP Capital and Partridge MINI-backed driver got off the line well, but did slip to fourth behind a fast-starting Rob Smith. The race was then red flagged and resumed with a time limit of 10 minutes for the remaining action.

Pidgley was shuffled back to fifth initially and then edged to sixth on lap five, which is where he finished.

Pidgley said: "I definitely feel we could have achieved more but it’s been a good weekend. I am a bit disappointed there were a few small mistakes which meant people got past me who shouldn’t have really, plus we had a damper issue halfway through the first race so I just had to try and keep everything together to the flag to bring it home in sixth.

"In both races my starts were excellent, I got off the line really well, and in the second race we obviously had two standing starts due to the red flag but both were really strong. Finishing with another top six in race two wasn’t bad at all and I’m also glad to hear everyone involved in the accident which caused the red flag is alright. I’m really looking forward to Snetterton now."