Race 1 for the weekend was under clear warm skies and it was Jamie Westaway who got the best start off the front row of the grid, with Michael Holdcroft also getting a great start from fourth and challenged for the lead but ultimately slotted into second through turn 1 behind Westaway. Pole sitter Chris Oxley was rounded up after a tardy start by Cameron Beller and Dick Howe, though the superior power of the ex BTCC car helped him gather speed and move back past through the middle of the two 944s and slot into third behind Holdcroft, with Beller and Howe following through.
Mark Taubitz was in sixth position, with Peter Doherty into seventh after a great start. Pedr James moved inside Jim Mitchell under brakes for turn 1 to slot into eighth position with Brian Bourke rounding out the top ten behind Mitchell. Tim Freeman was next from Alex Jory, John Vainoras and Rory Plant.
Taubitz moved past Howe under brakes on the inside for Turn 2, but Howe was able to power past down the back straight before the esses, while Oxley also used his superior straightline speed to round up Holdcroft to move into second.
Into Turn 1 to start the second lap and Oxley again was able to utilise his power advantage to move ahead of Westaway into the lead, though the more nimble 944’s and E30 were able to monster him in the corners and under brakes.
Howe was agressive through turns 2 and 3 as he tried to stick right with Beller to attempt to be able to make a pass down the back straight, however the concertina effect caused by the train of cars headed by Oxley braking for Turn 4 earlier than expected caught him out. Howe stood on the brakes, and with the right rear wheel on the outside ripplestrip, Howe spun his way through Turn 4, nudging the barrier lightly with the rear of the car, and dropping to the back of the pack in fourteenth position.
Beller made his move into third position under brakes for Turn 1 at the start of Lap 3, getting ahead of Holdcroft, while Howe moved ahead of Plant, who subsequently retired the following lap.
Oxley was keeping Westaway at bay with Beller a couple of seconds adrift while Holdcroft fell into the clutches of Taubitz. Doherty and James were running in close quarters in sixth and seventh, with Mitchell a few seconds back holding off Bourke, with Freeman just behind the pair in tenth position. Jory was just behind him while Howe moved himself into twelfth ahead of Vainoras.
Taubitz moved ahead of Holdcroft as they ran to the end of the back straight on Lap 5, while James moved past Doherty at the start of the lap to move into the sixth position.
At the end of the six laps it was Oxley who crossed the line narrowly ahead of Westaway, with Beller acouple of seconds behind. It was decreed however that Westaway jumped the start, and was handed a 5 second time penalty. This dropped him behind Beller, though still stayed third ahead of Taubitz who crossed the line fourth, with Holdcroft crossing the line fifth, the first of the E30 series runners.
James was sixth from Doherty, with Mitchell in eighth from Bourke and Freeman, the second and third E30’s in ninth and tenth outright. Jory, the recovering Howe and Vainoras were the final finishers.
The power of the newer BMW E36 BTCC car would prove tough to overcome, but the 944 field will be giving it their best shot to prevail with two races to come on Sunday!