CREWE driver Rob Smith enjoyed a productive Easter weekend by securing a podium finish at his home circuit.

Competing in the MINI Challenge event at Oulton Park, Smith finished seventh in his first race of the weekend but really shone on his next outing.

As if securing third place was not enough, the 24-year-old also clocked the fastest lap of the weekend with a time of 1mins 50.328secs, which was half a second quicker than the next fastest lap.

This meant he went home with the Fastest Driver of the Weekend award and Smith could not hide his delight with his performance.

“Taking the podium and fastest lap was the ideal way to end the weekend,” he said.

“Things didn’t go our way from Saturday onwards really, up to race two, so it’s fantastic to go away with two trophies.

“To lap quicker than pole and half a second faster than anyone, on a greasy, I think we sent a bit of a message today.”

Despite a good start to the first race on Easter Monday after a disrupted qualifying session on Saturday, Smith quickly dropped back to seventh.

He fought hard to try and work his way back through the field, but he remained seventh when the chequered flag dropped.

That was where he started the second race but another superb start saw him work his way up to fifth.

An intense battle with namesake Brett Smith for fourth place followed, but constant pressure forced him wide and allowed Rob to slip by.

Smith had a five-second deficit to make up to the top three, but a time penalty for Mark Wakefield meant he finished third.

The results on the opening weekend of the MINI Challenge season sees Smith sitting fifth in the drivers’ standings with 76 points.

He sits 14 points behind leader Charlie Butler-Henderson ahead of the next round of the championship, which takes place at Rockingham on April 29-30.