Andrew Jordan took his (and the new NGTC-spec engine's) first British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) win in commanding style, leading from lights to flag in the third and final race at Croft.
While those behind him fell over each other throughout the 15 lap race he was able to quietly pull away – the official winning margin was nearly eight seconds – flashing his headlights in celebration at his his family run squad.
Jordan's seventh place in the second race had handed the 21-year-old pole position for the last BTCC race before a month break and the Pirtek Racing driver took full advantage of the slice of luck in a season which seems to have been characterised by problems.
Jordan's luck continued into the race, as the battle for second allowed him to ease into a three second lead after just the first lap.
Tom Boardman, another man whose season seems to have been dominated by problems ending promising runs, started alongside Jordan, but as the blue and red Vectra raced away towards the first corner at Clervaux Boardman was already having to defend. From the second row Tom Onslow-Cole had darted up the inside of the SEAT and had all but secured second place before he tried to move over to assume the natural line for the first complex of corners.
Remember 'all but'?
Moving across Onslow-Cole caught Boardman's front bumper, the Aon Focus fishtailing wildly around the right hander and Clervaux, almost completely sideways, before he floored the accelerator, the front-wheel drive car hauling itself straight from a near impossible angle, somehow maintaining second place. In all the sideways action Jason Plato made his move up to third, passing Boardman as Onslow-Cole recovered.
However, Plato's third place was last long, the championship contender slowing before Tower Bend on lap three with a flat right-rear tyre.
With Plato's Silverline Chevrolet limping back to the pits (he would rejoin, and set fastest lap) the 'man most likely to challenge' mantle was passed to Rob Collard who was molesting the rear bumper of race one and two winner Gordon Sheddon, who Honda Civic was carrying some left-front damage picked up in some first lap contact.
Collard's eventual pass on Sheddon was equally typical of BTCC racing, the WSR man simply easing Sheddon wide at the final corner hairpin to take third, and quickly honing in on the rear of Tom Boardman.
The move also marked the beginning of Sheddon's slide down the field, the damage to the front win worsening, becoming something of an air brake as he became something of a rolling road block for those behind, Paul O'Neill, Alex MacDowall, Matt Neal and the two Airwaves BMW all battling in a knot of cars. Sheddon defended manfully in an ailing car, but the force of those behind him eventually eased him out, and where one had gone the rest followed, the Scot freight-trained around Clervaux and Hawthorn, plummeting from fifth to eleventh.
Matt Neal was another unwitting casualty of the battle as he, just like his title rival Plato, slowed before Tower Bend, Neal's Honda with a left-front puncture. Unlike Plato the double champion was unable to make it back to the pits, retiring.
Ahead Collard had made short work of Boardman and had began pressuring Onslow-Cole for second, the BMW driver looking the only man capable of making any impression on Andrew Jordan's lead, which had remained around three seconds for the entire race.
But, passing the Ford Focus proved a catch for Collard, the LPG car again showing good speed to hold onto second. Then, as the pair wound through the technical complex at the end of lap 12 Collard suddenly slowed, the car having lost all power and suffering the indignity of having to pushed down the pitlane.
Even free of Collard's attentions Onslow-Cole was unable to make any gains on the turbocharged Vectra at the head of the field, Jordan in fact able to pull away more in the latter stages of the race than at any other, often adding nearly a second to his lead with each circuit, to take a popular maiden win.
With first and second decided all eyes went to the developing battle for third, Boardman now the roadblock to the same group that had blitzed Sheddon a few laps earlier.
First to challenge was Paul O'Neill, the sunshine.co.uk Integra running side-by-side with Boardman's petrol SEAT through the complex and down the front straight, the battling allowing Tom Chilton and Steven Kane (who had started 19th) to join the fight for the final podium place.
Kane and Chilton made their way through, Kane with an aggressive move on Boardman, bumping him through the fast left-right Jim Clark Esses. However, the positions were undecided until the final corners, O'Neill sliding under braking into the hairpin, forcing him to cut to the inside of the corner, inadvertently mugging fifth position from Boardman who would finish sixth.
Mat Jackson finished seventh ahead of BTCC debutant Daniel Lloyd, Sheddon (despite a late race black-and-orange flag for his damage) and Alex MacDowall.
But the race belonged to Andrew Jordan for a win he described as “mega” having climbed down from celebrating on the roof of his victorious Vectra.
Photo Credit: SJK Photography