Ross Martin took his fourth BRSCC Avon Tyres National Formula Ford 1600 race win of the season after an untroubled lights-to-flag run at Croft.
Making a sharp getaway from pole, the Team Dolan racer completed the first lap with a 1.467s advantage over championship rival Spike Kohlbecker, who made a rapid start from fourth to pass both James Clarke and Rory Smith on the opening tour.
Martin’s advantage grew as the battle for second developed into a six-car fight, with Kohlbecker staunchly defending from B-M Racing’s Smith, along with Clarke, Neil Maclennan, Brendon Leigh and Jonathan Browne all nose-to-tail behind.
Kohlbecker’s defence was broken on lap four as Clarke placed his Ray up the inside on the run into Tower, squeezing the American off the circuit and down into fifth place.
That intra-team duel between the Cliff Dempsey pair allowed Smith and Maclennan to take advantage of Kohlbecker losing momentum.
The fight then split into two sections in the second half of the race, with Clarke and Smith squabbling for second.
On the last lap, it appeared their fight was going to end in tears as the pair banged wheels through the high-speed Jim Clark Esses.
Both Clarke and Smith had to take to the run-off to avoid spinning, with Smith coming back on-track marginally in front to take the chequered flag in second, 0.687s ahead of third-placed Clarke.
Anglesey race three winner Maclennan took fourth after a long-battle with Kohlbecker was settled in the Kevin Mills Racing driver’s favour.
Kohlbecker ran off-track at Sunny In, losing positions to Maclennan and Browne as he recovered back onto the track.
While Kohlbecker had fallen to sixth after his trip-off road, behind fifth-placed Browne, Leigh fell the furthest of those in the congested midfield scrap, a mechanical problem dropping him down to 15th and last on the road.
Seventh went to Jamie Sharp, the Dolan driver comfortably ahead of Oldfield Motorsport’s Carter Williams, who was competing in a Van Diemen for the first time after his spell in a Don Hardman-run Ray last season.
Jamie Thorburn finished ninth, with John Svensson taking Clubman class honours in 10th overall.
Race one results
|1||Pro||Ross Martin||Van Diemen||1m26.370s|
|7||Pro||Jamie Sharp||Van Diemen||+8.660|
|8||Pro||Carter Williams||Van Diemen||+11.813|
|10||CM||John Svensson||Van Diemen||+15.935|
|11||Pro||Aaron Jeansonne||Van Diemen||+19.867|
|12||Pro||Morgan Quinn||Van Diemen||+20.900|
|13||Pro||Adrien Laissac||Van Diemen||+26.302|
|14||CM||Adam Quartermaine||Van Diemen||+46.280|
|15||Pro||Nicole Woods||Van Diemen||1:00.350|