John Ferguson held off attacks from a charging Jake Byrne to take victory in the Avon Tyres sponsored Festival Masters race.
Starting from pole, Ferguson was immediately forced to defend against the fast-starting Van Diemen of Henry Chart. Chart kept pushing and was alongside when the pair collided at the midpoint of the race. Chart was sent into the gravel and out but Ferguson kept his Spectrum on track and with a gap back to Miles Johnston.
Byrne and Keith Wood joined the Masters race late after disappointments in the main Festival races. Having to start from the back of the grid, both cut up through the field with much faster cars. In the second half of the race, 16th-starting Byrne was up to third and trying to find a way past Johnston’s Ray.
He found a way past and quickly closed the gap to Ferguson. The leader defended hard and, though Byrne frequently got the better run out of corners, he held on. Side-by-side across the line, Ferguson claimed the victory just 0.068s ahead of Byrne.
The battle for third was even closer. Wood had followed Byrne through the field but could not quite find a way past Johnston. His Swift crossed the line just 0.063s behind the Ray driver.
Despite a spin late in the race, Simon Jackson secured third ahead of Peter Daly.
Thomas Johansson was one of a number of drivers to fall foul to fluid on the track at Graham Hill bend. He span late in the race but was able to finish seventh.
Stuart Kestenbaum, Kevin Bottomley and Jack Buckton rounded out the top ten.