Tom Onslow-Cole secured his second victory of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship with a lights-to-flag win in the opening race of the weekend at Oulton Park.
The Team Aon driver started from pole at the wheel of his Ford Focus and held his advantage at the start before being forced into a fine display of defensive driving allowed to keep his rivals at bay.
Onslow-Cole did break away briefly on the opening laps before a Safety Car period – called for Matt Hamilton being stuck in the gravel at Knickerbrook after contact with Shaun Hollamby – saw the field close up again.
From there, Onslow-Cole had to fend off the challenge of Gordon Shedden despite seemingly struggling for pace through the Island Hairpin throughout the race. Despite contact from the Honda on more than one occasion, Onslow-Cole held on for a second win of the campaign and his first win proper – his previous win at Brands Hatch coming after team-mate Tom Chilton was excluded.
Shedden did his best to find a way through for the lead but was also under pressure throughout from the BMW of Rob Collard, with the WSR man having battled ahead of Alex MacDowall and Jason Plato on the opening laps. Collard tried on numerous occasions to get through into second but, despite getting alongside Shedden, couldn't make a move stick.
Mat Jackson took fourth place, on the road at least, but only secured the position after contact with Plato's Chevrolet at Cascades on the 15th lap which dropped the championship co-leader down to tenth at the finish.
Jackson was followed home by Tom Chilton, who had pace in his Ford but struggled to make up places, while Steven Kane was sixth in the second Airwaves BMWs – enjoying a better run in the opening race than he had in qualifying.
Alex MacDowall took seventh place ahead of Matt Neal – who now leads the championship – with James Nash and Plato rounding out the top ten.
Outside the points, there was disappointment for Paul O'Neill, who failed to start with a gearbox issue on his car, and Andrew Jordan who pulled off with mechanical issues before getting his car restarted and returning to the pits.