Gordon Shedden took a dominant win in race one at Oulton Park, scoring his first victory of the season ahead of Fabrizio Giovanardi and Colin Turkington.
Team Dynamics driver Shedden, claiming the Honda Civic's second win this year, had started from second on the grid but got past pole sitter Turkington at the first corner on lap two. From there he was never headed.
"It was really good," Shedden told autosport.com. "We thought we had good pace during qualifying and I was just robbed of pole by Turkington. He was probably returning the favour from Croft! Once I got to the front I just kept it clean and tidy for my first win of the season."
Giovanardi, who lined up sixth on the grid, made a fantastic start and was running second by lap two. Despite pressure from Turkington and Matt Neal, Giovanardi clung on to the position and has now taken the lead of the drivers' title from Jason Plato, who finished in seventh place.
"I made a very good start," said Giovanardi. "I was a bit surprised because of the ballast. I'm really confident about the second race but I do not know about the rain."
The race remained dry throughout, but the rain that had been predicted all weekend started to fall just minutes after the chequered flag and has not let up as the teams prepare for race two.
Classified: Pos Driver Make Time 1. Gordon Shedden Honda 22:32.533 2. F.Giovanardi Vauxhall + 1.070 3. Colin Turkington BMW + 1.306 4. Matt Neal Honda + 1.711 5. Mat Jackson BMW + 2.949 6. Tom Chilton Vauxhall + 6.091 7. Jason Plato SEAT + 7.216 8. Mike Jordan Honda + 14.555 9. Tom Onslow-Cole BMW + 15.097 10. Gareth Howell SEAT + 29.794 11. Jason Hughes MG + 33.64 12. Simon Blanckley Honda + 46.774 13. Martyn Bell BMW + 47.863 14. Erkut Kizilirmak Vauxhall +1:03.540 15. John George Honda +1:05.441 16. Fiona Leggate MG +1:12.080 17. Rick Kerry BMW +1:27.428 18. Jim Pocklington BMW + 1 lap Not Classified: Driver Make Laps Adam Jones SEAT 13 Matt Allison SEAT 12 Chris Stockton Lexus 11 David Pinkney Alfa Romeo 2 Darren Turner SEAT 1 Richard Marsh Alfa Romeo 0 Fastest lap: Turkington, 1:28.831 on lap 6