Colin Turkington ended the opening weekend of the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship with a calm victory in the final race of the day.
The Northern Irishman started down in fourth place on the grid but a rapid getaway quickly moved WSR into a 1-2-3 position as Rob Collard hung onto his pole position ahead of Nick Foster.
Turkington quickly made his way by Foster for second place before moving by his fellow BMW 125i M-Sport team-mate Collard with a tighter line up the inside exiting Clearways on lap six of the 27.
Turkington was never headed from that moment, winning by 1.1s over a fierce chase for second place which was eventually won by Matt Neal in a fine opening weekend for the Honda Civic Tourer.
Foster was removed from the action due to a drive-through penalty related to the starting position on the grid of his BMW, while Jason Plato and Alain Menu both put on spirited charges through the field.
Plato had moved his MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save BTCC machine from 11th on the grid past double winner Andrew Jordan, then by team-mate Sam Tordoff and WIX Racing‘s Adam Morgan at Druids and Paddock Hill respectively.
Plato then dispatched Shedden and pursued Neal, who moved by Collard exiting Clearways with two laps remaining, bringing the charging Plato with him. The pair rounded out the podium, while Collard held off the charging Menu for fourth ahead of Shedden as the BMR Racing Volkswagen CC dived inside the Honda at Paddock Hill Bend on the final lap.
Menu had started a lowly 16th, and survived a clash with rookie Tom Ingram‘s Speedworks Toyota that fired the 20-year-old into the barriers exiting Graham Hill Bend, producing a safety car and ending a run of top-10 finishes for the reigning Ginetta GT Supercup champion.
Mat Jackson finished seventh for Motorbase, ahead of Jack Goff, Dave Newsham – impressing for AmD Tuning – and Morgan rounding out the top 10.
Martin Depper again suffered an off in the same place as in race two, ending an unfortunate weekend for the former Volkswagen Racing Cup racer.