Jason Plato kept his 2013 British Touring Car Championship hopes alive with victory in a wet first race at Brands Hatch.
Polesitter Plato held off his MG team-mate Sam Tordoff at the start to take the lead into Paddock Hill Bend.
Tordoff quickly lost out to Honda's Gordon Shedden on the run down to Graham Hill Bend. The reigning champion has often set the pace in the wet with his NGTC Civic and he soon moved forward to challenge Plato.
There was a brief lull in the fight when Rob Austin went off at Paddock and brought out the safety car, but Plato made a good restart to lead once more.
Shedden shadowed Plato for a while, but in the end the Triple Eight-run MG was too fast and Plato scored his 81st BTCC victory. He and Shedden thus both moved closer to Andrew Jordan in the title fight with two races to go.
Tordoff had a lonely race to complete the podium.
Tom Onslow-Cole had a fine run to fourth in his Motorbase Ford Focus. He trailed Jordan in the early stages until the Eurotech Honda driver had a moment at Graham Hill Bend and the Ford swept past.
Although Jordan recovered and pressured Onslow-Cole, the Ford stayed ahead to the flag. The result was nevertheless easily enough to secure Jordan his second consecutive Independents' title.
Championship contender Matt Neal was superb in the opening laps and rose from row eight to finish sixth, just behind Jordan, though he has now fallen behind team-mate Shedden in the championship table.
The fifth title protagonist, Colin Turkington, retired on the first lap. Slight contact with WSR BMW team-mate Rob Collard spun the 2009 champion at Paddock and he was collected by the third BMW of Nick Foster.
Collard went on to hold off a close pack comprising Adam Morgan (Ciceley Racing Toyota Avensis) and the Motorbase Ford Focuses of Mat Jackson and Aron Smith to take seventh. Smith's 10th was particularly noteworthy after he started from the back thanks to his free practice crash yesterday.
After Lea Wood spun his Vauxhall Vectra at Paddock, BTCC returnee Shaun Hollamby took S2000 honours in AmD's VW Golf.
Jordan now has 389 points, 29 ahead of Shedden. Neal is on 354 and Plato on 352, with 44 points still on offer from this afternoon's final two races.
Results - 17 laps:
Pos Driver Car Time/Gap 1. Jason Plato MG 30m53.129s 2. Gordon Shedden Honda +5.209s 3. Sam Tordoff MG +10.151s 4. Tom Onslow-Cole Motorbase Ford +12.603s 5. Andrew Jordan Eurotech Honda +12.918s 6. Matt Neal Honda +13.495s 7. Rob Collard WSR BMW +21.137s 8. Adam Morgan Ciceley Toyota +21.561s 9. Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford +22.256s 10. Aron Smith Motorbase Ford +22.738s 11. Dave Newsham Speedworks Toyota +26.770s 12. Jack Goff Hard Vauxhall +26.897s 13. Daniel Welch Welch Proton +44.003s 14. Jake Hill Exocet Audi +44.589s 15. Shaun Hollamby AmD Volkswagen +1m01.211s* 16. Tom Barley RCIB Vauxhall +1m01.926s 17. Aiden Moffat Hard Volkswagen +1m14.092s 18. Lea Wood Wood Vauxhall +1m22.301s* 19. Liam Griffin Motorbase Ford +1m25.957s* Retirements: Ollie Jackson Speedworks Toyota 5 laps Warren Scott BMR Volkswagen 5 laps Rob Austin Austin Audi 2 laps Colin Turkington WSR BMW 0 laps Frank Wrathall Dynojet Toyota 0 laps Nick Foster WSR BMW 0 laps