Adam Smalley took the Ginetta Junior Winter Series title after a pair of wins on the second day at Brands Hatch.
The Elite Motorsport diver lagged behind Saturday leader Kiern Jewiss after the first day of proceedings but bounced back on Sunday to secure the title by 13 points.
Smalley kicked off the weekend with pole for the first race of the competition, but the rest of Saturday belonged to Jewiss. The 2017 rookie champion snatched the lead off the line in race one. Fin Green and Greg Johnson joined the leading pair to make a four-way fight for the lead but Jewiss held firm to take his first win of the day.
Johnson passed Green for third in the closing stages of the race, but he was later given a 10-second penalty for exceeding track limits. Green was promoted back into the podium position and rookie winner James Hedley moved up to fourth overall.
Jewiss doubled up with a win in race two, but not before a tough battle with Johnson and Smalley.
A poor start in tricky conditions dropped Jewiss back to second, behind Johnson. He managed to move back ahead on lap three, but a small mistake dropped him backwards the following lap, with Smalley picking up the lead.
Jewiss and Smalley swapped positions twice more before the chequered flag, with the Douglas Motorsport driver defending hard in the closing stages of the race. He eventually finished a second ahead of Smalley.
Tom Canning took the final step of the podium. Starting eighth, he launched up to fourth off the grid and was closing the gap to Johnson in third when the Elite Motorsport driver had an off and dropped back down the order.
Louis Foster, who finished fourth overall, claimed the rookie win.
The second victory put Jewiss 10 points ahead of Smalley going into the second day at Brands.
Smalley pipped Jewiss to pole by just 0.04s in qualifying for the first race of the day, but neither were leading by the end of lap one. Hoping to make up for a disappointing day one, Johnson jumped from fourth on the grid into the lead, with Jewiss following him past the pole sitter.
After a brief safety car period to clear Green’s stricken Ginetta, Johnson ran into the gravel at Clearways and plummeted down the order again. Jewiss inherited the race lead, but was forced to defend against Smalley in the closing stages of the race.
On the penultimate lap of the race, Smalley found a way through at Druids after Jewiss locked up. He finished just two tenths of a second ahead of the points leader to take his first win of the weekend.
Ruben Del Sarte completed the podium while Fox Motorsport’s Gordon Mutch became the third rookie winner of the weekend.
Jewiss’ luck ran out at the start of the final race of the weekend. He still had a healthy lead at the top of the standings, but it was wiped out when he span and dropped down to 14th. While title rival Smalley ran unchallenged in the lead, Jewiss picked his way back through the order. A stunning comeback drive put Jewiss sixth by the chequered flag, but it wasn’t enough to keep him ahead of Smalley in the standings.
Smalley finished more than two seconds ahead of Johnson, who snatched second from del Sarte early in the race. Canning also found a way past del Sarte to take his second podium of the weekend and securing third in the winter series standings.
Foster, who finished fifth overall in the final race, became the first double rookie winner of the competition. He ends his first car racing competition fifth in the standings.