Daniel Harper produced one of the drives of the season so far to climb through from fourth on the grid to victory in the opening Ginetta Junior Championship race at Snetterton.
The Northern Irishman expertly picked his way through from fourth on the grid into the race lead, before withstanding immense pressure over the closing laps to take his second win of the year.
It wasn’t just Harper celebrating at the end of the race meanwhile, with a podium finish for Will Tregurtha moving him back into the points lead ahead of Stuart Middleton.
It was Tregurtha who had led home a HHC Motorsport one-two in qualifying earlier in the day, with the pole-sitter and his stablemate Lewis Brown running side-by-side into Riches for the first time.
Brown had to drop back to third however as the field fed through the Wilson hairpin for the first time, with Harper snatching second having earlier passed Harry King off the line.
Third became fifth for Brown on the second lap however, with Dave Wooder working his way past at the hairpin for the final podium position, before King dived through heading into Agostini.
With Seb Perez, Enzo Fittipaldi and the fast-starting Kyle Hornby quickly settling on Brown’s tail, the front quartet were able to break clear, though King found himself left behind.
At the front, the lead changed hands at Agostini on lap three as Harper stormed down the inside, with Wooder following him through to demote Tregurtha to third.
Those three would go on to run nose-to-tail throughout the remainder of the race, with Harper having to produce a stunning defensive drive to keep his pursuers at bay.
His chief competitor would change again on lap five, as the leader’s defensive line into Riches allowed Tregurtha to perform a cutback manoeuvre to steal second back from Wooder.
Their battle didn’t end there though, with Wooder getting back ahead on the final lap at Wilson, a move that just gave Harper enough breathing room in front to storm to the flag.
For Harper it was his sixth Rookie class win and sixth outright podium finish of the season so far, while Wooder and Tregurtha made their seventh visits to the overall top three.
King maintained fourth to the flag to match his career best result from Thruxton in May, while Brown fended off the gaggle of G40’s behind to complete the top five.
Hornby secured sixth to cap off a great drive through from thirteenth on the grid, while an unfortunate spin for Fittipaldi on the penultimate lap cost him seventh position.
A difficult race for Middleton saw him unable to make the forward progress through the field he would have hoped, settling for eighth ahead of Geri Nicosia and Tom Gamble.
Fittipaldi eventually recovered to fifteenth at the finish behind Seb Priaulx, Olli Caldwell and Max Bird, while Charlie Digby finished 21st on his championship debut.
Full race results can be found here.