Cumbrian racer Frank Bird secured a podium finish after an impressive performance in Abu Dhabi.

Bird followed up a solid display in the opening two rounds of the four-race Asian Le Mans Series (ALMS) at the Dubai Autodrome with an excellent showing in the fourth and final race at the YAS Marina Circuit in neighbouring Abu Dhabi.

The Penrith driver was contesting the second pair of four-hour races in the Middle East driving a McLaren 720S in the GT class for the UK-based Garage 59 team, along with teammates Alexander West from Sweden and German driver Marvin Kirchhofer.

The #88 team of Bird and his team-mates qualified in mid-pack for the first of the weekend’s races but another excellent drive by Bird saw them climb the leaderboard to end up in twelfth place at the chequered flag.

They then saved the best until last, with Bird going from 12th on the grid to second position at one stage, before settling for third place.

It meant a first podium finish in a McLaren for the Garage 59 squad.

After the four-round series, Bird claimed sixth place overall in the GT drivers’ class.

The Cumbrian said the Middle Eastern racing was a great experience and he declared himself delighted with the progress he and his team-mates made.

“That’s the Asian Le Mans series done. We finally got the podium we had been chasing in that last race and it’s been a great two weeks out here in Dubai and Abu Dhabi,” the 22-year-old said.

“We made some great steps with the car, especially as this was the team’s first event in a McLaren, and to get a podium in the final race made it even better.

“It was a great experience to do this championship so thanks to all the mechanics and engineers for their hard work, also to my team-mates Marvin and Alex for the brilliant jobs they did. Finally, thanks to the sponsors and my dad for making this happen.”

Bird had previously recorded a fifth and eighth-placed finish in the opening two races.