Local hero Rory Butcher took victory in the opening British Touring Car Championship race at Knockhill, fending off a strong late challenge from the BMW of Andrew Jordan.
Butcher started from a career-first BTCC pole in his AmD Tuning Honda Civic Type R and blasted into an immediate lead, while Jordan powered his WSR-run 330i M Sport inside the Team Dynamics Honda Civic Type R of Dan Cammish to grab an early second spot.
The race was neutralised early on following a clash between Michael Crees's Team Hard VW CC and the Motorbase Ford Focus of Nicolas Hamilton.
Once racing resumed on lap eight, Butcher continued to fend off his foe, although he was struggling with a loss of second gear - which is only used under power accelerating away from the hairpin on the 1.27-mile track.
That gave Jordan fresh hope and he kept the pressure on. His move for the lead came as the duo powered out of the hairpin to begin the 27th and last lap.
Jordan got better traction and went to the outside of the Civic, drawing level as the pair went over the timing line and then moving to the inside for Duffus Dip.
However, 2013 champion Jordan was unable to slow the rear-wheel drive machine and ran wide, allowing Butcher to pounce down the inside going into McIntyres and regain the advantage, which he then held to the flag.
"Andrew was on a mission in that race," said Butcher.
"After the safety-car period, I knew I had lost second gear, but third to sixth were OK. It was alright everywhere apart from the hairpin which I was having to do in third instead.
"I was trying to build a gap in the early part of each lap to allow me the breathing space. It nearly worked, but Jordan just nipped ahead. I am relieved I was able to get it back."
Jordan said an unusual line going into Duffus, as he defended from Butcher, had been his undoing.
"I had been on the dirty side of the circuit and that meant that I couldn't get the car into the corner properly," he said.
"I knew quite early on and decided to bail out of it. Credit to Rory though, he has driven brilliantly so far this weekend."
Behind Jordan, Cammish took the final podium step after a tough race.
He had chosen to use the option tyre, which is the less-favoured medium Dunlop rubber, and was jumped early on by Tom Chilton's Motorbase Ford Focus, but regained the position when Chilton ran wide coming out of the chicane on lap 11.
Despite that, Cammish was forced to look to his mirrors as points leader Colin Turkington, in the WSR BMW 330i M Sport, was glued to his rear bumper for the final 15 laps.
Senna Proctor consolidated his superb qualifying showing by bringing his BMR Racing Subaru Levorg home in fifth spot ahead of Chris Smiley (BTC Racing Honda Civic) and the recovering Chilton.
Tom Ingram (Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Corolla), Adam Morgan (Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes) and Jake Hill (Trade Price Cars Racing Audi) rounded out the top 10.
Championship winners Matt Neal and Ash Sutton both failed to finish after a collision on lap 11.
Sutton put his Subaru down the inside of the medium-tyred Honda going into McIntyres as they battled over 10th place, and both were forced to retire with damage as a result.
Result - 27 laps
|1||Rory Butcher||AmD Tuning||Honda||26m45.926s|
|3||Dan Cammish||Team Dynamics||Honda||1.444s|
|5||Senna Proctor||BMR Racing||Subaru||2.298s|
|6||Chris Smiley||BTC Racing||Honda||2.960s|
|7||Tom Chilton||Motorbase Performance||Ford||3.406s|
|8||Tom Ingram||Speedworks Motorsport||Toyota||3.817s|
|9||Adam Morgan||Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes||4.659s|
|10||Jake Hill||Trade Price Cars Racing||Audi||5.381s|
|11||Aiden Moffat||Laser Tools Racing||Infiniti||10.156s|
|12||Jason Plato||Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall||23.724s|
|13||Josh Cook||BTC Racing||Honda||23.753s|
|14||Matt Simpson||Simpson Racing||Honda||24.167s|
|16||Carl Boardley||Team Hard||Volkswagen||28.454s|
|17||Daniel Rowbottom||Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes||28.958s|
|18||Bobby Thompson||Team Hard||Volkswagen||30.801s|
|19||Jack Goff||Team Hard||Volkswagen||32.237s|
|20||Mark Blundell||Trade Price Cars Racing||Audi||33.619s|
|21||Rob Smith||Excelr8 Motorsport||MG||37.845s|
|22||Sam Osborne||Excelr8 Motorsport||MG||38.876s|
|-||Rob Collard||Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall||Not classified|
|-||Ollie Jackson||Motorbase Performance||Ford||Accident damage|
|-||Stephen Jelley||Team Parker Racing||BMW||Accident damage|
|-||Matt Neal||Team Dynamics||Honda||Accident damage|
|-||Ash Sutton||BMR Racing||Subaru||Accident damage|
|-||Michael Crees||Team Hard||Volkswagen||Accident damage|
|-||Nicolas Hamilton||Motorbase Performance||Ford||Accident damage|
|-||Mike Bushell||AmD Tuning||Honda||Accident damage|