Harry Woodhead secured victory in an action-packed opening round of the 2013 Ginetta Junior Championship at Brands Hatch.
In a classic Junior encounter that featured close wheel-to-wheel racing throughout the field, the reigning Ginetta Junior Winter Series champion benefited from mistakes by the early race leaders to start 2013 as he ended 2012, on the top step of the podium.
Woodhead, running with reigning champions HHC Motorsport, began the race from pole position, however a great getaway from Tom Jackson allowed him to squeeze into the lead at Druids first time round, though the action was quickly cut short after Elliot Paterson found himself beached in the Paddock Hill gravel trap.
After a short safety car period, the racing resumed with Jackson briefly leading the field, however a mistake at Paddock Hill saw him run wide and through the gravel, the second year driver recovering to the back of the field.
This gifted the lead to Keith Donegan, though the Irishman went on to run wide two corners later at Graham Hill Bend, with Woodhead emerging back in front from Donegan and Will Palmer.
Running fourth after a tremendous start to her debut race was Jamie Chadwick, the reigning scholarship winner having squeezed past fellow rookie James Kellett. The driver on the move however was her brother Ollie Chadwick, the third year driver mounting a recovery drive after starting at the back of the grid.
Ollie overtook Jack Rawles to make it into the top six, before passing Kellett a lap later to put him onto the tail of his sister. A slick move into Druids saw him move ahead, while behind, contact between Rawles and Kellet sent the latter spinning down the order.
The move put Chadwick onto the back of the battle for second, with a three-way battle emerging. Palmer passed Donegan on lap ten for second, with the Douglas Motorsport driver fighting back to regain the spot a lap later, with Chadwick following him through to take third.
The battling allowed Woodhead to edge clear and take the win, with Donegan crossing the line nearly two seconds adrift ahead of Chadwick. A recovering Jackson forced his way past Palmer on the final lap to take fourth, while Rawles emerged from a fantastic battle with Jamie Chadwick to finish as top rookie in sixth, both drivers showing fantastic racecraft on their full series debut.
Ryan Hadfield followed in eighth, with fellow rookies Connor Mills and Jack Mitchell completing the top ten, with Kellett ending up a lowly twelfth.
You can view the full race result here: http://tsl-timing.com/?loc=major&season=2013&series=BTCC&event=races&source=ed_TOCA&eventid=131303&table=131303rc1gij&tabletype=gif