Dominik Jackson got his Radical Challenge championship defence off to the best possible start, taking two out of three opening round wins at Donington Park.
But the 2018 champion faced a full-on attack from Jerome de Sadeleer and added pressure from new rivals Mark Richards and Jac Constable.
When you have the success penalties it feels like a double win when you pull it offRAW Motorsport driver Dominik Jackson
Despite qualifying second for the opening race, the RAW Motorsports driver scythed into the lead at the chicane on the opening lap, just as the safety car appeared.
It was seven laps before the green flag was waved, from thereon Jackson pulled out a big lead. With his pit-stop judged to perfection, he retained the advantage on rejoining and was over eight seconds clear when he took his first win of the season.
With Rod Goodman tipped into the gravel again at the first corner, the safety car was in action for the first few laps of the sprint race too.
From the green flag Jackson couldn’t get quite close enough to challenge De Sadeleer for the lead.
Shipston-on-Stour team-mate Spencer Bourne had another exceptional race too. Having held sixth for much of the race, he began to attack team-mate John Macleod. He succeeded in snatching fifth three laps from home but Macleod was less fortunate, retiring with a blown engine.
It was a straight fight between Jackson and De Sadeleer at the start of the final race of the weekend too. But Jackson had to patiently wait in second for 11 laps. A quick reaction to make the stop when the safety car came out, proved decisive too. Unfortunately the incident had taken out Bourne who was fifth at the time.
Jackson rejoined second but ousted Constable within four laps, recording win number two for the weekend.
Jackson said: “I’m very happy with that. Race one was very smooth race, apart from lap one and having to get back past Jerome [de Sadeleer]. We were rolling down the hill and I bogged down at the start of race two but I managed to make up for it and squeeze my way up to second.
“It was super close all the way through race three. My start was fine but I knew it would be hairy at Redgate and accepted second place. Then I just waited and got a good run out of Redgate and was ahead onto the Craner Curves
“When you have the success penalties it feels like a double win when you pull it off. We managed to pit at just the right time but came back out behind Jac [Constable]. I knew he had some pace on him and it was a case of picking a point to re-take the lead. It’s a brilliant start to the season.”