Ant Whorton-Eales survived a last lap challenge from Ashley Sutton to take victory in a dramatic final Renault UK Clio Cup race at Silverstone, with both gaining ground in the title battle after Ash Hand received a track limits time penalty.
Whorton-Eales led every lap of the race after starting from pole position, but it was far from easy for the Maximum Motorsport man as Sutton hounded him throughout the eighteen lap encounter, before making a dramatic late bid for victory.
Sutton got the cutback coming out of Copse and took to the grass on the approach to Becketts as he forced his way into the lead. Whorton-Eales got the run onto the Wellington Straight though and clung on around the outside at Brooklands.
The two banged wheels heading into Luffield and almost lost control, but Whorton-Eales gathered his Clio up and went on to take his fourth win of the season, whilst Sutton made it seven podiums in the last eight races in second, having battled a recurrence of his race one over-heating troubles.
Hand fought with Paul Rivett in the early stages for fourth, those two switching positions twice in the first few laps, before contact between the two on lap five allowed Dan Holland to enter podium contention in fourth.
A four train developed behind Hand in third, but the championship leader was able to hold them off and take third at the flag, however a five second penalty for track limits infringements dropped him to sixth in the final results – meaning the championship top three are now only split by fifteen points.
That promoted Holland into a maiden Clio Cup podium finish on his first outing with WDE Motorsport, with his team-mate Rivett taking fourth ahead of first time top six finisher Josh Price with Team Pyro.
Rangoni Corse pairing Ben Davis and Michele Puccetti completed the top eight, the latter securing the Masters Cup win, with both gaining a spot after a track limits penalty dropped Tom Grundy from seventh to ninth.
Rory Green took tenth for his third top ten finish of the campaign ahead of Mark Howard, while Alex Sedgwick recovered from a bad start to take twelfth ahead of fellow debutant Sam Watkins, those two gaining spots as Tom Butler and Rory Collingbourne received track limits penalties.
Tom Witts and George Jackson came to grief on the opening lap at Brooklands meanwhile, causing both to retire with damage, while Charlie Ladell’s nightmare weekend was concluded with another early retirement, before he was later excluded from the results.