Ant Whorton-Eales took his first victory of the 2016 Renault UK Clio Cup season during an action-packed opening race of the weekend at Donington Park.
The third race of the year featured a dramatic start, with a big offs for David Dickenson and Dan Zelos into the Old Hairpin gravel trap, the latter rolling over.
The decision was made to restart the race, which was a blessing for poleman Max Coates, who had dropped right down the order during the first trip through Redgate.
The second start went better for the Ciceley Motorsport man, but not perfectly as he slipped back to fifth place – Lee Pattison taking the race lead from Whorton-Eales and Paul Rivett.
Pattison’s advantage was short lived however, with the top three going three-wide coming out of McLeans soon after, with Rivett storming past both to take the lead.
On lap five, Whorton-Eales made the decisive move for the lead, with a great run out of Coppice giving him the position heading into the final chicane.
Behind, there was a change for fourth as Coates worked his way past former champion Mike Bushell, but soon after the race action was halted.
That came for a red flag, caused by a second roll of the race – this time for Zelos’ former Ginetta Junior team-mate Senna Proctor at the Craner Curves.
That ensured Whorton-Eales, Pattison and Rivett completed the podium ahead of Coates and Bushell, while George Jackson picked up his first top six finish of the season behind.
Paul Streather, Daniel Rowbottom, Anton Spires and Ollie Pidgley rounded out the top ten, whilst taking the Masters Cup victory was Darren Johnson ahead of Graham Field and Craig Milner.
Alongside Dickenson, Zelos and Proctor, Charlie Ladell and Rory Green also failed to make the finish following first lap drama at McLeans, whilst Paul Plant and Josh Price also retired.
Full race results can be found here.