The 2018 Renault UK Clio Cup drama hit an important plot point in the first race at Rockingham on Saturday as current championship leader Max Coates suffered his first ever DNF in the series which in turn made things tight at the top.
The second victory of 2018 for Daniel Rowbottom has also shown that the DRM driver will be a dark horse for the title.
Pole sitter Jack McCarthy had led the first two laps until Rowbottom made his race winning move at the Deane hairpin. Things were made more interesting for the Kidderminster driver as title hopeful Paul Rivett managed to squeeze his WDE Motorsport Clio past McCarthy and began putting pressure on the DRM man.
Despite being on more worn tyres, Rowbottom held on to take his second victory of 2018.
Third went the way of McCarthy who had no reply to Rowbottom and Rivett ahead of him whilst also having to defend strongly from James Colburn in fourth.
James Dorlin had an eventful race to fifth following an incident in the opening laps with Dan Zelos. Also having an exciting opening few laps was Bradley Burns who finished sixth.
Max Coates had a race to forget as his car became too damaged following an incident at the start of the race. In order to save his car for race two, he pulled off into retirement. His first ever in his Clio Cup career.
Despite retirement, Coates still leads the championship. However, the top three is now just covered by fourteen points, the crusade to dethrone Max being led by Rivett.
Elsewhere in the race, Jack Young finished seventh after starting tenth and Jade Edwards took thirteenth ahead of Nick Reeve in fourteenth.