ROOKIE talent John Bennett came oh-so-close to claiming a maiden podium finish in the third GB3 Championship meeting of the season at Donington Park.

Motorsport UK Academy star Bennett headed to the 1.9-mile circuit in Leicestershire looking to build on a spectacular start to his rookie GB3 season, with consistent top-10 results leaving him fifth in the overall championship standings.

But in qualifying, Salisbury star Bennett developed an engine fault, combined with confusion over his pitboard.

Bennett was therefore limited to 15th. With that, he put his frustrations to one side ahead of race one, hoping to charge through the field in response.

After evading two incidents on the opening lap, Bennett climbed the order up to 11th before losing time with a spin at the chicane. He took the flag in 17th.

Following this race, the issue was found with his engine, which showed he had been only getting 88 per cent throttle through the day.

With the engine issue now both diagnosed and repaired, Bennett had two more races, including a reverse grid encounter, to look forward to.

In the first race he finished 13th.

Starting a more enjoyable seventh on the reverse grid and with fresh tyres to boot, Bennett's best chance came in the final race of the weekend.

He made his way up to fifth place in the final complex with a good move into the hairpin on the inside, before a penalty for another driver ahead of him played into his hands.

Bennett therefore achieved his best ever GB3 result in fourth place in a great performance that saw him finish less than a second from the podium.

"In the last race we moved up plenty of positions and I salvaged a good finish of fourth," said Bennett.

"Despite being so close to getting that podium, I'm happy with that given the issues we had faced, and it's a good place to build from.

"It's obvious that we do have some good pace in the car and I'm looking forward to seeing what we can do next time out at Snetterton which again should be very close."

Bennett now sits eighth overall in the Drivers' Championship, next heading to Norfolk over the weekend of June 25-26 when GB3 visits Snetterton's 300 circuit.