Gordon Shedden took victory in an action-packed opening Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race of the weekend at Oulton Park.
The Honda driver started from pole in wet conditions but lost out to team-mate Matt Neal off the line, with the Scot running second through the early laps. However, when Shedden got ahead at Island on lap four he was able to pull ahead to claim what would be a comfortable victory.
Neal meanwhile went backwards as the race wore on and could manage only eighth place, with Chevrolet pair Jason Plato and Alex MacDowall completing the podium – the pair working their way up the order as the laps counted down. For MacDowall, it was a first podium finish of the campaign.
James Nash was fourth for Triple Eight having gambled on slick tyres on the front of his Vectra and it worked as the race progressed, with the former points leader climbing up the field in the final laps as the circuit started to dry, although he fell short of a place on the podium.
Rob Collard was a fine fifth for WSR ahead of team-mate Nick Foster, who was embroiled in a heated battle throughout with the Honda Integra of Lea Wood. Wood had made a storming start to climb into the points by the second lap despite being down in 21st on the grid and he took his five-year-old car to its first top ten finish.
Neal was down in eighth at the finish ahead of Andy Neate and Andrew Jordan, the latter having had a spin mid-way through the race at Island Hairpin and Neate involved in a late-race incident that saw him tip Jeff Smith into a spin on the run to Island, with his Vectra then coming back onto the track and slamming into the side of Tom Boardman's SEAT – which had used slick tyres to climb into the points. Both Boardman and Smith were forced to retire as a result.
Paul O'Neill was unable to score in his Chevrolet after losing positions with a drive-through penalty after the opening lap, while Tom Chilton was pushed off the grid before the start before joining the race and finishing a lap down. Mat Jackson was an early retirement in his Airwaves Racing Ford.