Jason Plato made it two wins from two in the second British Touring Car Championship race of 2013 at Brands Hatch.
Poleman Plato's MG6 held off another fast getaway from Rob Austin's Audi before pulling clear.
Andrew Jordan's Eurotech Honda Civic soon found a way by the Audi, but by then the gap to the leader was over three seconds and Jordan made no inroads into the deficit.
That situation lasted until BTCC newcomers David Nye and Warren Scott clashed at Druids late on, leaving Nye's Welch Motorsport Ford Focus stranded and bringing out the safety car.
The race got back under way for just two laps and Plato made a good restart to secure his 76th BTCC victory.
Jordan also had his hands full in the late stages with the works Honda of Gordon Shedden.
After a torrid race one, the reigning champion stormed through the field in the second encounter. Having climbed up the field from row 10, he jumped from fifth to third when Frank Wrathall's Dynojet Toyota and Austin clashed at Druids, but couldn't quite make a move on Jordan.
Jordan's team-mate Jeff Smith held off a hard-charging Matt Neal to secure fourth, as the four Civics finished in the top five.
Neal had lost ground when he clipped Wrathall after the restart, but managed to repass the soft tyre-shod MG of Sam Tordoff on the final tour to secure fifth.
Wrathall had also been involved in a clash earlier in the race. A misjudged move on the run to Paddock resulted in Wrathall pushing Colin Turkington's WSR BMW into the gravel as they fought for fifth.
Turkington managed to survive and eventually fought back to come home ninth.
With Lea Wood failing to start due to a driveshaft failure, James Kaye led the S2000 class for much of the distance.
The AmD driver was under constant pressure from Liam Griffin's Motorbase Ford Focus, however, and Griffin made it by after the restart to secure Jack Sears Trophy honours.
Update: Shedden excluded, loses podium
Race 2 - 27 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Jason Plato MG 24m16.488s 2. Andrew Jordan Eurotech Honda + 0.989s 3. Gordon Shedden Honda + 1.344s 4. Jeff Smith Eurotech Honda + 4.958s 5. Matt Neal Honda + 5.073s 6. Sam Tordoff MG + 5.454s 7. Adam Morgan Ciceley Toyota + 5.874s 8. Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford + 6.640s 9. Colin Turkington WSR BMW + 7.086s 10. Dave Newsham Speedworks Toyota + 7.295s 11. Nick Foster WSR BMW + 7.635s 12. Liam Griffin Motorbase Ford* + 10.360s 13. James Kaye AmD VW* + 11.461s 14. James Cole Hard Vauxhall + 12.776s 15. Daniel Welch Welch Proton + 13.765s 16. Warren Scott BMR SEAT* + 1 lap Retirements: Frank Wrathall Dynojet Toyota 25 laps David Nye Welch Ford* 18 laps Tom Onslow-Cole Hard VW 15 laps Rob Austin Austin Audi 9 laps Rob Collard WSR BMW 5 laps Ollie Jackson Speedworks Toyota 2 laps Aron Smith Motorbase Ford 1 lap Jack Goff Hard Vauxhall 0 laps Will Bratt Austin Audi 0 laps Lea Wood Wood Vauxhall* 0 laps * S2000