Steven Kane admitted he was thrilled to mark his return to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship with victory as Airwaves BMW secured the early championship advantage at Thruxton.
Kane, who drove for he team in 2008 during his only previous BTCC season to date, endured a tough start to the weekend when he suffered a driveshaft problem on his way to the grid for race.
Although the team fixed the problem to allow Kane to turn some laps later in the race, it left him well down the order for race two, although Kane battled through to take the flag in eighth.
That left him second on the grid for race three and having battled for the lead with Rob Collard, Kane was in the best place possible when the WSR driver and Matt Neal collided – leaving the Airwaves man out front.
Holding off the challenge of team-mate Mat Jackson, Kane secured his maiden victory while Jackson followed him home for a 1-2 finish.
“After the first race and the drive-shaft issue I wasn't sure today would be my day, but during the second race the car felt great and I made up a great deal of places,” Kane said. “In the last race I was starting in second, and I felt confident I could do well, but I pushed so hard chasing and trying to pass Collard that my tyres were gone.
“Once he went out I knew I could do it, but Mat was on my tail and it was tough. The team has been amazing and I want to thank them. I kicked up a gear and my first win in the BTCC means the world.”
Kane sits fifth in the standings as a result of his victory, while team-mate Jackson lies third after he celebrated his BMW return with two podium finishes – with a third in race one before his later runner-up fnish.
“This is great for the team and great for me, I'm delighted,” he said. “The car is fast, very fast and very well sorted. It gives you confidence and allowed me to push for the two podiums today. A one-two win for the team, on the first day of the season is beyond anyone's expectations, but I'm not complaining.
“The hard work paid off, and believe me, there's more to come.”
As well as having both drivers in the top five in the standings, Airwaves BMW leads the teams' championship heading to round two at Rockingham.