SIMON Mauger excelled as his Nissan Micra punched above its weight to finish seventh overall at the Jack Neal Memorial Rally.

The Bicester driver opted for the newly-built 1.4-litre hatchback as his Mk2 Escort, which won at Goodwood earlier this month, was not ready.

Despite lacking the power of many in the rest of the field, the Major Motorsport Micra took the race, held at Blyton in Lincolnshire, by storm.

After the first stage, he and Tom Hutchings were ninth and they continued to climb throughout the day.

The pair romped to a class win by more than three minutes, but also beat all the 1.6-litre and two-litre cars.

Mauger was thrilled with the result.

He said: “I love driving this car.It isn’t far removed from a standard road car.

“It does have a few modifications and slightly more power thanks to the exhaust manifold, but it is a fun 120bhp to drive.

“We have spent a lot of time setting up the handling, and it can really carry speed through the corners.”