Taking confidence from his Top 10 performance in Rockingham, Mohammed Nalwalla started the third Mini Challenge UK round with renewed belief to attack on the go.
The Indian teen in the #21 Mini qualified 16th on Saturday, amid the 30 runners on a wet Snetterton, the track he knows from the pre-season testing.
With rain falling as the session started, it made tricky for all the drivers and especially Nalwalla who has little practice under such conditions.
The first race on Saturday took place under sunny conditions giving the drivers a chance to improve on their positions after a mixed qualifying under wet conditions.
The 10-lap race saw Jeff Smith emerging as the winner after jumping both Barr and pole-sitter Rob in the early stages and soaking all the pressure put on by Barr in the closing stages.
Jeff’s son Brett had an astonishing race having started from 11th on the grid to move up to fourth in the order, before eking out a podium after a move on Max Bladon, to make up seven positions in total.
Meanwhile, Nalwalla had a battling race behind, with the Mumbaikar involved in a four-way tussle for 11th place after the Top 10 created a buffer with the rest of the field.
In a back and forth fight, Nalwalla had to eventually settle for 14th as the four drivers were separated by a mere 0.347s over the line, with Hutchinson coming on top.
The second race on Sunday was another fighting outing for Nalwalla, with him being involved in a five-way tussle for 12th position this time.
The Mumbaikar started on 12th, but lost a couple of positions midway into the race when the five drivers were bunched in together.
Towards the latter half of the race, Stuart Gough in the #29 Mini pulled out a lead of just over a second from Nalwalla, who had the #32 Dean Brace, #84 Ryan Dignan and #35 Chris Oakman hot on his heels.
In the end, Nalwalla was able to secure 13th place, a mere 0.391s ahead of Brace but fell short to Gough by 1.058s in the 8-lap race.
Nalwalla's day was far from over as the see-saw battle continued in the final race for the Indian starting from 13th on the grid.
The field was tightly bunched up in the Top 10, with this time Nalwalla firmly in the hunt for a strong result.
Wakefield, eventually, managed to hold on to second with Rob completing the podium after Jeff was penalised for track limits infringement, dropping to 10th.
Meanwhile, Nalwalla slowly made his way in the Top 10, behind the six cars pack up to Rob in the order, as he kept a recovering Bladon at bay.
The Indian finished 10th but was promoted to ninth after a penalty to Jeff, which handed him his best result of the season, bettering last race weekend's 10th place.
Nalwalla was only 0.221s behind eighth placed #444 George Sutton, as the field from third until ninth finished within a second of each other respectively.
The championship now heads to Silverstone during the June 10-11 weekend for Round 4 of the 2017 season.
Mohammed Nalwalla [Copyright: Mini Challenge UK]
[Image courtesy: Mini Challenge UK]