Bradley Gravett enjoyed another strong weekend on track as he returned to the podium during the latest Vertu Motors MINI CHALLENGE rounds at Oulton Park.
Bradley made the trip to the Cheshire circuit on the back of two strong meetings at Brands Hatch and Snetterton, where a maiden top-three finish was followed by the highest-scoring weekend of his racing career to date.
A busy Friday testing programme saw Bradley work through a number of set-up changes on his EXCELR8 Motorsport-run car, all geared towards maximising his chances of success during the only double-header event of the season.
That work paid dividends as Bradley produced a storming performance in qualifying to storm into provisional pole before electing to park his car in the pits in order to save tyres for the two races.
It looked like Bradley would secure a maiden pole until the final moments of the session when team-mate Dan Zelos was able to set a quicker time, having bolted on a new set of tyres, although it still left Bradley to line up on the front row of the grid for the opening race.
As expected at a circuit where overtaking opportunities are at a premium, the start of the race would prove to be key, with Bradley suffering slight wheelspin as the lights went out.
That allowed Joe Tanner to jump ahead into second spot on the run down to turn one, with Bradley slotting in behind in third. Although quicker than the Scot for a large part of the race, he was unable to find a way through and had to settle for third place and a second podium finish of the season.
With the top six being reversed on the grid for the second race, Bradley lined up in fourth spot for the start, and although he briefly dropped to sixth on the run down to turn one, he held the inside line to get back ahead of Zelos on the run to Cascades - where he then went wheel-to-wheel with Tanner before settling into the train of cars.
As in race one, Bradley would be quicker than the cars ahead - as seen by him setting the second quickest lap of the race - but was unable to find a way through as he settled for fifth at the finish.
Having ended the weekend with a better points-per-race score than ever before, Bradley sits sixth in the standings going into the summer break but is just 26 points away from the top four.
"Overall, it's been another hugely successful weekend with a lot of positives to take into the summer break," he said.
"To qualify on the front row of the grid for the first time was absolutely fantastic, and although it would have been nice to get pole, our strategy worked a treat as it meant we were able to save tyres to then take into the races.
"My starts are usually one of my strong points, but I didn't quite get the revs right going into race one, which meant that Joe was able to get ahead. I think we clearly had a quicker car than him as the race wore on, but track position is key, and there just wasn't the opportunity to make a move.
"Third was still a fantastic result, and it was good to not only score another podium finish but to show that our performance at Brands Hatch earlier in the season wasn't just a one-off.
"I had a great battle with Joe and Dan at the start of the second race, and it was nice to come away with another strong points score to go into the summer break. After a difficult start to the year at Donington Park, we have fought back well, and there will be plenty of work going on behind the scenes to ensure we hit the ground running for the second half of the year."
Bradley Gravett is supported by GERKO, ThinkingitBetter, Ultimate Car Control, My Custom Workwear, Scalextric, Elite Vehicle Chargers, Flying TV, PolyChrome Studios, DriverAssist.ME, Bradbury Racing, Alexander James Interiors, Tesouro Timepiece and Crypto Saving Expert.