Dave Newsham continued his dominant Clio Cup season with a win from pole in the first of two races at Croft, even the return of double-champion Paul Rivett failing to shake the Team Pyro driver's form.
It was the combination of the current leader and the Clio veteran who shared the front row for the race, however, a slow start by Rivett, driving for Colin Stancombe's eponymous Vehicle Engineering squad, saw him slip back to third behind Sam Tordoff.
Rivett, despite the start, had lost none of his Clio know-how staying almost glued to Tordoff's rear bumper through the first half of the race and beating his own track lap record.
Tordoff briefly started to break away from Rivett, though unable to make a meaningful impression into the lead Newsham had built up while those behind where more concerned with each other. Half way in the race saw Rivet right back on Tordoff's tail and he finally made his move on the penultimate lap.
Rivett got a good run out the right-hander at Tower and was able to, in the words of Tordoff, creep past coming up to the fast Jim Clark Esses. Tordoff was forced to yield, allowing Rivett through to second on his return to the series.
With the two more experienced racers ahead Tordoff's third was good enough to take the series' Graduate Cup, with Fulvio Mussi taking fourth – joining the Tordoff-Rivett battle late in the race. Newsham's overall win saw him also win the Masters' Cup – for the over-40s.
“I got a poor start to drop to third but then on the last lap I got a good exit out of Tower and knew it was now or never to try and pass Sam,” said Rivett. “I got up the inside and I knew the track is wide enough along the straight to run side-by-side and so I was able to get by. It's great to be back racing again and thanks to my sponsors Blue Square Data for making this possible.”