Giuliano Niceta scored a hard fought win in the opening round of the WSK Master Series KF3 class at Siena in Italy.
Sicilian based driver Niceta ousted long time leader Nicklas Nielsen in the closing stages of the 20-lap final to take the victory by one and a half seconds from his Morsicani Racing teammate Robert Visoiu, who also passed Nielsen in the closing stages.
For much of the weekend Niceta and Danish driver Nielsen were the class of the 66-strong field, each winning three of their four heats as several of the fastest drivers in timed qualifying struggled for pace in the heats.
Nielsen lined up on pole for the pre-final from Niceta and took the win by less than a second from Visoiu and Sweden's Kevin Rossel as Niceta finished fifth but after making good ground in the early stages of the all important final, Niceta's pressure on Nielsen finally told.
Italian Stefano Villa Zanotti and Frenchman Erwan Jule completed the top five in the main final while in the points standings Niceta leads Visoiu by eight points with Nielsen a further five points back in third.
The lone Irishman in the field, Ricky Flynn Motorsports' Alex Hamilton successfully qualified for the final stages, was excluded from the pre-final before recovering from 34th and last on the grid to finish 20th in the main final.