Ross Martin narrowly beat his BRSCC Avon Tyres National Formula Ford 1600 title rival Spike Kohlbecker to victory in race one at Anglesey, in a frenetic race that included a safety car.
Polesitter Kohlbecker started alongside Martin on the front row of the grid but it was Neil Maclennan who managed the best getaway, squeezing between the pair to edge into the lead at the first turn.
B-M Racing’s Rory Smith was also on the move and passed Kohlbecker in the opening exchanges.
Smith then took second from Martin exiting Rocket and immediately started pressuring Maclennan for the lead.
But a move down the inside at the Corkscrew went awry, with Smith colliding with the Kevin Mills Racing driver and putting both off onto the grass.
That turned a four-way battle for victory into a duel between Martin and Kohlbecker, with the Scotsman spending the rest of his race defending from the Cliff Dempsey Racing-run Ray hovering behind him.
Kohlbecker attempted to squeeze down the inside into turn one more than once in the final laps but couldn’t find a way past the Team Dolan driver.
James Clarke completed a stunning comeback drive to finish in third place, despite starting down in 10th place.
Despite his collision with Maclennan, Smith was able to continue with a slight delay and went on to finish fourth, setting several fastest laps in a row to finish only 2.252s off Martin.
The midfield battle was a chaotic one, helped by an early safety car when Brendon Leigh attempted a move on Tom McArthur similar to that of Smith and Maclennan.
The two collided, with Tom McArthur forced wide through traffic cones while Jamie Sharp was left with nowhere to go and collided with Leigh.
While McArthur was forced to pit with two cones stuck under his car, Sharp and Leigh’s stricken cars blocked the racing line, which dramatically shook up the order just before the safety car was deployed.
The main beneficiary was Jamie Thorburn, who had initially dropped outside of the top 10 off the start but was fifth by the time the race was neutralised.
Though the Border Reivers driver could not keep David McArthur behind, he successfully kept Michael Macpherson – now Kevin Mills Racing’s best-placed driver in the race – behind him in the closing stages to finish sixth.
Behind Macpherson in seventh, Aaron Jeansonne was another driver to make up several places, rising from 14th on the grid to eighth by the chequered flag.
Morgan Quinn had run as high as sixth shortly after the safety car restart but fell to ninth by the finish, with Clubman class winner Adam Quartermaine completing the top 10.
Having lost several seconds in his altercation with Smith around the halfway mark, Maclennan could only climb up to 11th place in the remaining laps.
John Svensson rallied to finish second in the Clubman class ahead of his JRT team-mate Pascal Monbaron, despite going to deep into Rocket on the first lap and spinning off.
Tom McArthur had returned after his pitstop but retired late on while running just outside the top 10, with grass in his main radiator causing his Medina to overheat.
|1||P||Ross Martin||Van Diemen||20m24.570s|
|8||P||Aaron Jeansonne||Van Diemen||+17.103|
|9||P||Morgan Quinn||Van Diemen||+18.790|
|10||C||Adam Quartermaine||Van Diemen||+19.250|
|12||P||Scott Huntley||Van Diemen||;+32.903|
|13||C||John Svensson||Van Diemen||+33.157|
|14||C||Pascal Monbaron||Van Diemen||+36.096|
|15||P||Nicole Woods||Van Diemen||+51.330|
|DNF||P||Jamie Sharp||Van Diemen|
|Fastest lap: Smith, 1m42.992s|