TOBY Bearne issued a big statement of intent to next year's Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup hopefuls with a stunning display at the final meeting of this year's competition.

The racer from Silver End only gained entry to the prestigious Supercup for the final three rounds of the 2017 season, but signed off on a high by securing twin podium finishes for the TeamHARD race team at Brands Hatch.

Bearne, who has been sponsored by Witham-based company Texo Scaffolding and Construction this year, is now hoping to finalise a sponsorship deal that will allow him to undertake a full season in 2018

And he is warning the rest of the field to be ready for him.

"That's the 2017 race season wrapped up," said a jubilant Bearne.

"It was a rocky start to the year but I had a really solid finish in the last three races at Brands Hatch, with two thirds and a fourth.

"Having only entered this Ginetta race series for the last three rounds, I am over the moon to have had two podium finishes.

"I can't thank TeamHARD enough and in particular my race engineer Aaran Stroud and his crew for all their hard work - it really paid off at Brands Hatch."

The Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup is a support competition to the British Touring Car Championship and Bearne's success came in front of a huge audience both at the track and on national television.

He added: "My third race of the weekend was shown live on ITV4 and, with over two million viewers, it gave me the opportunity to showcase my ability and was great exposure for my sponsor.

"I have to say a massive thank you to Texo Scaffolding and Construction for their support this year and I now want to nail a deal to compete in the Ginetta Supercup for the full 2018 season.

"Watch out Supercup next year - I'm coming for you."

However, after the jubilation of his racing triumphs in Kent, Bearne was soon hit by a family sadness and dedicated his performance at Brands Hatch to his grandfather - Jack Butler - who sadly passed away a few days after his successful drives.

He added: "Looking back, it was my best and favourite race weekend but was followed by the worst week of my life.

"I had to say good bye to my Granddad who sadly passed away last week.

"Life's an emotional roller coaster but we have to bounce so I'm going to dedicate my two podiums to my Granddad Jack Butler."

Bearne also thanked photographer Craig Wheeldon for the help he had given during the season.