New Malden’s Tom Onslow-Cole stood on the 24 Hours of Paul Ricard podium for the second year running on Sunday.

The 28-year-old and his SPS Automotive Performance team-mates took their Mercedes AMG GT3 to a third place finish in theGT3 Pro class.

It was a hard-fought come back for the team - who started the 24-hour race from the front row - after two unscheduled pit stops dropped them down the order in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Three laps down from the podium, running in eighth place and with six hours remaining, the SPS team dug deep to surge back to take a place in the top three.

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Eyecatching: The distinctive SPS Automotive Perfermance Mercedes AMG GT3 machine driben by Tom Onslow-Cole in France at the weekend

“We all thought our podium hopes were over, but you never stop fighting,” said Onslow-Cole, who switched to the team from RAM Racing last week.

“You don’t know what will happen to those in front of you so you need to get yourself as close to the leader as possible. The good thing in these situations is that the team takes on an ‘all or bust’ approach.

“We wanted to go there and take the overall win, but a class podium is still fantastic given the situation we were in at the start of the day.”

Onslow-Cole next heads to the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in the Blancpain GT Series on July 28.

“I’m looking forward to racing the Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3 around Spa. It’s such a fast, flowing circuit that should really suit the car and it’s well-built to cope with all of the drama of a 24-hour race,” he added.

“I’ve taken podiums at Dubai 24 Hours, Barcelona 24 Hours and 24 Hours of Paul Ricard in the last 18 months so I’d love to add 24 Hours of Spa to this list, in a fortnight’s time.”