Gordon Shedden took his first win of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season after fending off the challenge of Rob Collard
in the opening race of the weekend at Croft.
Starting from the front row of the grid, Shedden made the perfect start to secure the lead heading into Clervaux for the first time after pole-sitter Tom Chilton
was slow away at the start.
The Honda driver was able to pull away from Chilton who came under pressure from the BMW of Rob Collard
before the WSR man made his move for second at Hawthorn on lap eight, then starting to reel in the Honda ahead.
As the pair pulled clear of the chasing pack, Collard closed in on the Honda as the pair ran nose-to-tail through the final lap. Despite pulling alongside out of the hairpin, Collard was unable to find a way through as Shedden forced him to take the grass – the Scot crossing the line just 0.035secs behind.
Jason Plato ultimately finished in third place having battled ahead of team-mate Alex MacDowall and then benefitting from Chilton losing speed and dropping back through the pack before pitting with a puncture that left him well out of contention.
Title leader Matt Neal
took fourth but only after fending off the challenge of a charging Paul O'Neill, with Triple Eight duo James Nash and Daniel Lloyd following behind – the latter scoring on his first BTCC start.
Tom Onslow-Cole was eighth after losing time in the middle of the race when his car suddenly lost power, while Mat Jackson
and Andrew Jordan
rounded out the points after a frantic race-long battle in the mid-field.
Three cars retired from the race, with Lea Wood, Shaun Hollamby and Dave Pinkney all failing to make it to the flag.