The Protyre Ginetta GT5 Challenge well and truly got into gear as Brad Bailey profited from a start-line mishap for Luke Davenport to take the first win of the season at Oulton Park.
Pole man Davenport accidentally found himself placed in the wrong position on the grid directly next to his pole position slot, where his race was then dented by a 10-second time penalty for creeping before the lights went out.
Davenport still held onto his lead through the first corner ahead of Bailey, who was one of many to narrowly escape being involved in an incident at the first corner when a passing move didn’t go to plan for third, David Pittard the biggest loser as he spun down the field along with Clive Richards.
The top two remained close all race despite second-placed Bailey not needing to attack Davenport for the win due to the latter’s penalty, Will Burns passing his Academy Motorsport team-mate Oliver Basey-Fisher on lap four.
From then on the top two edged away from the battling team-mates, Davenport reaching the flag first after Bailey was baulked by his rival’s G20 team-mate Marcus Vivian on the last lap, Bailey inheriting the first win of the year as Davenport dropped to fourth with his penalty applied.
Burns only just held off a spirited last lap charge from his team-mate Basey-Fisher to finish second in a good result for Academy Motorsport, as Matt Flowers was a big gainer from the first corner incident to leap from 12th on the grid to finish an eventual fifth.
Pittard meanwhile, fuelled by determination after his first corner off, became the quickest man on track for much of the race, charging through the field to ninth place as the field started their final lap.
The SV21 driver then stole a further three places on that lap by the time they reached the flag, snatching sixth from Gary Duckman on the run to the line.
Jason Kenny’s first start in a G40 was one he won’t want to remember too soon as a stall dropped him to the tail of the field initially, although he still finished the race on his way to an eventual 16th place.
The G20 class was just as tight as Brian Murphy jumped into the class lead through the first corner scuffle, before engaging in a great dice with Stuart Pearson for honours.
Pearson made his move on lap four as the pair chopped and changed places mid-race, before taking a clear win for Optimum Motorsport thanks to a spin for Murphy late in the race, the latter hanging onto second ahead of Ian Ingram.