GERI Nicosia recorded a win and a second place when the Ginetta GT5 Challenge first was a supporting act on a British Touring Car Championship race weekend this season and he was hoping for more of the same at Snetterton.

Qualifying would define the grid for both the Saturday and Sunday races - the latter shown live on ITV.

Nicosia, 20, found himself in third position for both races, with Scott McKenna and Josh Malin ahead for Saturday, the same drivers but in different order on Sunday.

Princes Risborough-based Nicosia just held on for third after an unusually poor start but fell back from the leading pair on the first lap. He started to claw back the gap when the race was stopped after a three-car collision on lap two left cars strewn across the track.

Nicosia, who attended the Sir William Borlase Grammar School in Marlow, took advantage of the restart with a much better start which allowed him to stay with the lead pair. In fact there was a four-car train breaking away from the pack with Adam Smalley joining in.

In a shortened race, eight laps instead of the original 12, Nicosia finally made his move for second place on the final lap at Agostini although he and Malin ran side-by-side until after Hamilton, where the pass was complete.

There was not enough time to hunt down leader McKenna so Nicosia returned to the podium for the first time since his lost win at Donnington (he was later disqualified) with second place.

As a measure of his pace, for the fourth time in five races he set the fastest lap of the race.

The race on Sunday was one of the best-ever according to television commentators.

Nicosia started in third position but moved up to second through the first corner, sitting right on the bumper of Malin and preventing McKenna from moving across and maintaining the place.

Malin ran wide at Hamilton so Nicosia took the lead, but he then had to fight off a challenge at the end of the Bentley straight. There was already a five-car train at the front pulling clear of the others in the 22-car race.

Nicosia led across the line the first time but his advantage was short-lived as Malin got a tow along the Bentley straight and was able to pass round the outside going under the Bridge.

Nicosia was not giving up without a fight however and tried to re-pass round the outside of Coran, then again at Riches. He would jink left or right time and time again, pulling alongside Malin but unable to pass.

Smalley managed to get inside Nicosia on the entrance to Wilson at the start of lap four. Nicosia attempted to run round the outside but was eased onto the grass where another place was lost to Mckenna. He re-joined the track in front of Geordie Mutch.

Nicosia was throwing everything at the drivers in front with five cars circulating with less than a second covering them.

Smalley ran wide at Riches on lap five allowing McKenna to move up to second and Nicosia push through into third again. It was short-lived as Smalley moved inside at Palmer and back to third, but Nicosia finally made the move stick at Agostini after three passes in three corner.

The race continued with the front five jousting for advantage and sure enough Nicosia made his move on lap 10. Closing right up through the Bomb Hole, he got his nose alongside McKenna before the latter could move across and then made the pass on the inside through Coram.

Malin however was almost a second ahead as the leaders crossed the line with two laps to go.

Finally free of the view of McKenna's rear bumper, Nicosia set the fastest lap of the race and closed the gap to 0.6 seconds with one lap still to go.

Malin was struggling with tyres and ran wide at Wilson allowing Nicosia to close right up. He was throwing everything at Malin who was now having to defend with everything he had.

A wide entrance into Agostini saw Nicosia set up the classic cut back, but Malin just covered the move.

Nicosia launched through Williams onto the Bentley straight for the last time, right behind Malin. He pulled out slowly and drove alongside, before edging past as the straight was running out.

Into the left-hand corner, Brundle, Nicosia moved into the lead even as the two cars clashed just enough to fold back their mirrors.

Nicosia took the win pulling clear from the chasing pack to cross the line 0.6 seconds ahead, whilst less than that covered the next four places.

The results put Nicosia back into third place overall although Malin and Mutch (in fourth and fifth place) are two and nine points behind respectively, so there is all to play for at the final round.

Nicosia also collected the Fastest Ginetta GT5 Driver of the Weekend trophy for the second race weekend running.

He said: "That was an awesome race. It was a privilege to race with these guys. It was so close yet we raced hard and fair.

"I’m looking forward to the return to Donington. I could have won all three races there last time."

Nicosia added: "It was always going to be a tall order recovering from our disqualification last time out, but we gave it our best.

"The weekend was lost in qualifying where the main challengers showed pace they could not replicate to to gain track position on a circuit where overtaking is difficult”.