The MAK Racing duo of Chris Webster and Stuart Hall took their first Fun Cup UK win on a drying track at Oulton Park.
With 28 starters for the opening round, it was going to be action all way and just to add to the interest, heavy rain in the morning had soaked the track too.
Webster started the MAK car but when the first safety car intervention came at 14 laps, he had slipped from an early second place to seventh, as Nigel Greensall led the mass charge for the pits in the CCS Media car, from Chris Hart’s 2Rent Dominos and Chris Weatherill for Team Lane Roofing.
At the first hour Henry Dawes was in for Hart, but Hall had taken over from Webster and was only 0.243 secs behind, before leading into the second stop.
But the man to watch was Team Sherardize’s Marcus Clutton.
Having taken over from Peter Belshaw, he rejoined 14th and within six laps he had deposed JPR UVio’s Fabio Randaccio for third, before leading four laps later.
It was back to a 2Rent Dominos and MAK Racing duel again after two hours however, with Hart and Dawes 4.8 secs up on Webster and Hall, who had JPR UVio’s Farquini Deott and Fabio Randaccio still threatening.
Sherardize had lost out at the stops though, slipping to fifth behind Team Honeywell’s Neil Plimmer and Tim Wheeldon, while Weatherill and Jordan Lane continued to run strongly in sixth for Team Lane Roofing.
With Clutton back in for Sherardize, he went past both the lead pair after a brief safety car break and started to build a lead.
They were then forced pitwards though before the third hour was up, out of contention with a broken throttle cable.
MAK had the lead again and even when Hall handed to Webster for the penultimate stint, they managed to stay ahead.
But Hart was just as determined, closed in on Webster and led just after the three hour mark, but was under attack from Deott too.
On the 73rd lap Deott was through but the top 10 were all still on the lead lap, as JPR UVio led 2Rent Dominos, MAK, Honeywell, Apollo and JPR 99.
Two laps behind the safety car closed it up again, but everyone still had one more stop. MAK were first in, followed three laps later by 2Rent Dominos, Apollo and Honeywell which left JPR UVio and JPR 99 at the front until they completed the stops.
MAK appeared to have timed it to perfection and were back in front but Hall had Dawes still threatening when the safety car came out again with the Trumans car stationery.
It was green with 21 minutes on the clock and Randaccio made it three for the lead, while Apollo’s Guy Wenham was all over Plimmer in the Honeywell car for fourth.
But there was another twist when Hadley stopped in the JPR GT Radial car.
The safety car was back for one lap only, leaving a 12 minute sprint to the flag. Hall just held on for MAK but Dawes remained a constant shadow, only 0.190s behind, while reigning champions JPR UVio retained third with Randaccio.
Wenham managed to claim fourth after taking Plimmer on the grass, but the Honeywell driver also found himself mugged by CCS Media’s Greensall and JPR 99’s Kristian Rose on the last lap, leaving him in seventh.
Team Lane Roofing’s Weatherill and Lane and the first of the Team 7 Fun Bikes cars with Chris Dovell sharing with Chris and Edward Bridle rounded off the top 10.
1 MAK Racing (Chris Webster/Stuart Hall) 94 laps in 4h01m07.942s; 2 2RentDomonos (Chris Hart/Henry Dawes() +0.190s; 3 JPR UVio (Farquini Deott/Fabio Randaccio); 4 Apollo Motorsport (Guy Wenham/Ryan Burke/Zoe Wenham); 5 CCs Media (Nigel Greensall/Ciro Carannante/Bob Tomlinson/Alan Honarmand); 6 JPR 99 (Phil Martindale/Kristian Rose); 7 Team Honeywell (Neil Plimmer/Tim Wheeldon); 8 Despatchbay.com (Andy Bicknell/Paul Turner/Harry Mailer); 9 Team Lane Roofing (Chris Weatherill/Jordan Lane); 10 Team 7 Fun Bikes 2 (Chris Bridle/Edward Bridle/Chris Dovell). Fastest lap Dawes (2Rent Dominos) 2m01.220s (79.94mph).