Tordoff had led initially with Priaulx slotting into second. Collard out started Shedden to move into third and then the three BMW’s drove away from the rest of the field on what has always been a BMW circuit. There was some light drizzle blowing in on the wind as the cars completed the early laps and that combined with a lot of dirt that had been pulled onto the circuit contributed to make a greasy track surface. Tordoff was caught out on this on lap five and ran slightly wide letting Priaulx through to lead the race. With the two at the front pulling away, things weren’t so straight forward for Collard who was on the soft tyres. As these faded he started to fall back into the clutches of Shedden but he was able to resist the Scotman’s attempts to pass and took his podium spot. Shedden ended up with team mate Matt Neal behind him in fifth but early in the race Rob Austin had held that position. He was another soft tyre runner and suffered far more than Collard dropping to thirteenth by the end of the race. Team mate Hunter Abbott also dropped back to sixteenth after running in the top twelve earlier in the race.
Turkington was another soft tyre runner and he battled with Rob Austin in the early stages until the tyres started to fade but he managed to hold onto seventh. It had nearly been sixth but Andrew Jordan slipped past in the closing stages. Eighth was Tom Ingram in his Speedworks Toyota having a strong race and finished well clear of ninth placed Adam Morgan in the Wix Racing Mercedes. He passed Jack Goff on the final lap putting the works MG driver down to tenth, another driver struggling on the soft tyres.
Aron Smith of Team BMR and Josh Cook of Power Maxed Racing were eleventh and twelfth. They were fighting fiercely during much of the race until a coming together which saw Smith come out on top.
With Austin thirteenth, behind him completing the points scorers were Eurotech’s Martin Depper and Dave Newsham in the second of the Power Maxed Chevrolets.
Max Coates had a strong race on his debut keeping out of trouble and gaining several positions including passing his team mate Derek Palmer. He took twenty first.
Nicolas Hamilton also finished. He gained some positions early on but started to fade as the race went on. A collision with some of the tyres on the chicane eventually dropped him to twenty fifth.
Jason Plato decided on an unusual strategy; He pitted on the green flag lap to start from the pit lane nearly a lap behind. This was an attempt to get a fast lap and so a higher grid slot for race two. It worked in that he starts third but he threw away potential points as he finished dead last in this race, a lap down.
Tordoff gets pole for race two from Andy Priaulx. Alongside Plato on the second row is Gordon Shedden with Turkington and Collard next up. Austin and Ingram are next up with Abbott and Aron Smith completing the top ten on the race two grid.
Full results for this race are available from TSL timing. by Marc Waller