Motorbase Performance Ford driver Sam Tordoff became a record 15th different winner of the 2018 BTCC season when he claimed the opening race of the day at Silverstone.
The polesitter blasted away from the line and immediately covered off the inside line going into Copse corner to ward off any threat from the third-placed starter Ricky Collard in his WSR BMW.
That move allowed Tordoff’s teammate Tom Chilton into second place in his Shredded Wheat-backed Ford while Collard ran wide.
His error allowed Andrew Jordan into third place in his WSR BMW and Jack Goff’s Eurotech Honda into fourth ahead of Collard.
The top two raced clear and were uninterrupted by a mid-race safety car to clear up the abandoned car of Josh Cook (Vauxhall) from the Brooklands gravel.
Jordan was forced to pit after 11 laps with a loss of power from his two-litre turbocharged car just as Collard managed to repass Goff, which put him up to third. The order remained unchanged to the flag.
Tordoff said: “This win has been a long time coming. I got a good start and I cut across in front of Ricky just in time. From there, he was about building a rhythm and controlling things, although I did make a slip-up just after the safety car and flirted with the gravel at Luffield.
“That put Tom right back on my tail and they got on the pits to car radio to tell me that there would be no team orders. I would have to work for this one, but I held on and it was a perfect result for me and for the team.”
Championship leader Colin Turkington, who had only qualified in 18th place in his WSR BMW laden with 75kg of ballast, picked his way through the order and ran 12th after 10 laps.
He climbed through the lower ranks of the top 10 and eventually followed Mike Bushell’s Team Hard VW home for eighth position at the flag.
He was well clear of championship rivals Ash Sutton, who was 11th in his Team BMR Subaru, and Tom Ingram, who was 15th in his Speedworks Motorsport Toyota.
That means that Turkington has extended his lead to 50 points in the standings with five races remaining.
Silverstone BTCC: Tordoff grabs first 2018 pole by 0.018s
Silverstone BTCC: Ingram reignites title hopes with Race 2 win