Mike Bushell and Ant Whorton-Eales continued their thrilling fight over the 2016 Renault UK Clio Cup title with a superb battle for victory in the opening race at Silverstone.
Whilst they started the race second and fourth on the grid respectively, they were into the top two positions by the time the field had fed their way through Copse for the first time.
Bushell briefly held the advantage, but Whorton-Eales was in front by the end of the lap and the JamSport Racing ace would go on to lead the majority of the race.
Despite the pack squabbling behind them, the top two couldn’t break away and as the race developed, an incredible eight car train fought over the podium positions.
Just behind mid-distance Whorton-Eales nearly lost his lead when he suffered a big slide through Brooklands, but he recovered his car in the lead as Bushell slipped briefly to third.
Quickly back ahead of his Team Pyro stablemate Josh Price, Bushell continued to pile the pressure on his championship rival, which paid off in the closing laps.
Getting down the inside at Brooklands on the penultimate tour, Bushell made the move stick into Copse for the final time and held it to the flag for a fourth victory of the year.
Pole-sitter Max Coates held third early on, but he lost out to Price and the returning James Colburn on the second lap, with those three holding the final spots in the top five across the first half of the race.
The man on the move was Paul Rivett though, who climbed through from eleventh on the grid to take fourth at the end of lap twelve, with Colburn losing out and slipping to sixth position.
That’s how that quartet reached the finish, with Price securing a fourth podium finish of the campaign, while Rivett and Coates kept their title hopes alive behind.
David Dickenson grabbed seventh from Luke Kidsley late on, while Paul Streather impressively battled his way through from nineteenth to ninth, despite feeling the after-effects of his heavy testing crash.
Charlie Ladell completed the top ten ahead of Chris Smiley, Jake Giddings and Senna Proctor, while Ollie Pidgley took fourteenth on the road before being handed a five second penalty for track limits.
That demoted him to sixteenth at the finish behind Rory Collingbourne and debutant Ben Davis, but Pidgley did have the honour of finishing the race with his maiden Clio Cup fastest lap.
Full race results can be found here.