ANDWELL racing driver Nick Halstead finished his first season in the Protyre Ginetta GT5 Challenge with an excellent double podium finish at Donington Park.

Halstead took his rostrum total for the campaign to an impress 10, as he twice finished third and recorded his best overall finish to date.

After qualifying fifth of the amateur drivers, he finished the opening race sixth his opportunities being limited by an early red flag, after which the race was not resumed.

The Fox Motorsport racer then made a sensational start in race two to run second during the opening phase.

Halstead eventually came out on top of an entertaining battle for third.

He snatched the final podium spot with a lap-and-a-half to go.

The driver enjoyed a career best 15th overall, ahead of many drivers in the pro class and with a fastest lap that was just over two seconds slower than that of the race winner.

This meant the Andwell driver finished his rookie race season as the third-best amateur driver in the overall points standings.

Halstead said: “This has been my best weekend of the season, and it’s great to reward Fox, who have been so great with me and my car all year, with two podiums to take my total for the year into double figures.

“I was a bit annoyed that I made the wrong decision to change to slick tyres during a damp qualifying session.

"Race one did not go as well as I’d hoped, but two podiums in two races today and my best overall finish of the season feels great.

He added: “What I’m most pleased with is going from being a total race novice at the start of the year, who made a lot of mistakes, to where I am now.

“This weekend the speed, consistency and race craft was the best it’s been and that’s something very encouraging to take into next season.”

Paul McNeilly, team principal of Fox Motorsport said: “Nick’s progress from total novice has been excellent.

"This was his most competitive weekend of the season in terms of the gap to the front-runners.”