Niall Murray claimed a close victory in the opening BRSCC Avon Tyres National FF1600 Championship at Castle Combe, despite running wide on the final lap.
A lengthy stoppage due to an incident in a previous race, and subsequent repairs and recovery meant the opening race was shortened from 15 to 12 minutes.
Team Dolan driver Murray initially looked unchallenged from pole in his Van Diemen RF99, although Cliff Dempsey Racing’s Jamie Thorburn and Kevin Mills Racing’s Michael Eastwell stayed with him as he pulled away from the rest of the field.
An excursion onto the grass by Murray on the final lap meant he came under pressure from Thorburn, but a stronger run through the final corner ensured Thorburn couldn’t challenge for victory.
The podium trio were covered by just 0.562 seconds at the chequered flag.
CDR driver Hugo Bentley-Ellis rose from eighth on the grid to finish fourth, benefiting from a Luke Cooper spin that also held up Dolan’s Matt Round-Garrido and Bentley-Ellis’s team-mate Nico Gruber.
Round-Garrido finished in fifth in his Medina Sport JL17, close to Bentley-Ellis’s rear, while Don Hardman Racing team-mates Joey Foster and Carter Williams finished sixth and seventh, Foster doing so from 13th on the grid.
Cooper recovered from his spin to finish eighth, and took an extra two points after denying Murray fastest lap on the final tour.
Clubman Post-’89 class winner Felix Fisher finished ninth, with B-M Racing’s Rory Smith completing the top 10.
Jonathan Browne and the delayed Gruber were close behind Smith at the end of the race, and finished 11th and 12th.
Richard Morris and Vincent Jay finished second and third in the Post-’89 class in 17th and 19th overall.
Roger Orgee and Thomas Capezzone both retired from the race after four laps.
|1||Pro||Niall Murray||Van Diemen||10 laps|
|5||Pro||Matt Round-Garrido||Medina Sport||+6.850|
|14||Pro||Sebastian Job||Van Diemen||+18.078|
|16||Pro||David McArthur||Van Diemen||+19.764|
|Fastest lap: Cooper, 1:09:875|
|1 Murray 342 2 Eastwell 256 3 Round-Garrido 226 4 Cooper 208 5 Thorburn 207 6 Foster 198 7 Neil Maclennan 195 8 R Smith 149 9 Gruber 120 10 Bentley-Ellis 112|
|1 Jay 334 2 Richard Morris 253 3 Daniel O’Beirne 106 4 John Svensson 97 5 John Ferguson 94 6 Sam Street 74 7 Henry Chart 53 8 Fisher 36 9 George McDonald 28|