Seb Perez was in a league of his own as he stormed to a comprehensive maiden Ginetta Junior Championship victory in the opening race at Knockhill.
Perez leapfrogged his pole-sitting JHR Developments team-mate Seb Priaulx off the start and didn’t look back, streaking clear of the field as the race progressed.
With a fierce battle raging for the final podium positions behind, Perez was able to pull over six seconds clear at one stage before backing off on his way to the chequered flag.
Behind, the action was relentless as Priaulx and Stuart Middleton battled over second place in the early laps, with the Rookie producing some determined defending to keep Middleton at bay.
As the race headed towards halfway their battling meant a queue of five cars formed behind, with Daniel Harper leading the charge after passing Will Tregurtha on lap three.
Priaulx’s defence was finally breached on lap seven as Middleton slid down the inside at Scotsman – going on to maintain the position to the flag as Priaulx won the Rookie class in third.
Tregurtha briefly got ahead of Harper in the battle for fourth, but the Northern Irishman fought back at Clark on lap ten and edged clear in the closing laps.
The championship leader was left to battle with Geri Nicosia to the flag, with a remarkable dead heat seeing two thousandths of a second split them at the flag.
Connor Grady picked up a fifth top ten finish of the campaign in seventh ahead of Cameron Roberts and Charlie Fagg, with Enzo Fittipaldi completing the Rookie podium in tenth overall.
Dave Wooder ran as high as sixth during the middle portion of the race, but some late drama saw him drop to eleventh ahead Lewis Brown and Elite duo Tom Wood and Harry King.
Full race results can be found here.