Daniel Harper has strengthened his title aspirations in the Ginetta Junior Championship with a fourth win of the season in the opening race at Rockingham.
The Douglas Motorsport ace started proceedings from pole position after topping qualifying earlier that morning, however a slow launch off the line lost him the lead.
Sebastian Priaulx grabbed the advantage, however it was short-lived as heading into the Deene hairpin, a challenge from Tom Gamble on the outside forced Priaulx to defend.
Harper seized the opportunity and dived down the inside to lead the pack, with Priaulx settled into second ahead of Gamble, with the action then quickly halted by the safety car.
That was due to a multi-car incident at Yentwood that claimed Connor Grady, debutants Emily Linscott and Louis Foster, and crucially, championship contender Kiern Jewiss.
The man on the move at the restart was Gamble, who immediately dived down the inside of Priaulx for second, before setting his sights on the race leader ahead.
Harper looked quicker around the technical infield section than his adversary, but the slipstreaming nature of the banking allowed Gamble to mount a couple of challenges for the win.
Despite his best efforts though, Harper was able to fend him off to secure the victory, with Gamble taking second at the flag, however he was later handed a time penalty post-race.
That was for contact with Priaulx, who was promoted to second ahead of former team-mates, whilst Tom Wood emerged from a scrap with Harry King to take fourth.
King got ahead into Gracelands soon after the restart, but two laps later Wood dived down the inside at Tarzan to regain the place, with King slipping to sixth at the finish behind Adam Smalley.
That result secured Smalley a second Rookie win of the campaign, Luke Browning and Ruben Del Sarte completing the class podium and the overall top eight.
Full race results can be found here: http://tsl-timing.com/file/?f=TOCA/2017/173403gij.pdf