It was a well fought battle that saw Sri Lanka's Dilantha Malagamuwa (Dilango Racing) take the opening victory in the 2009 Aston Martin Asia Cup in Shanghai.
From the onset it was action with Malagamuwa and Mark Williamson (ConcordEnergy Racing) getting the jump on pole sitter Ringo Chong as the lights went out.
With Malagamuwa out front the battle for second saw Williamson have to fend off Tunku Hammam on the second lap whilst Chong was hot on the heels, keen to regain his lost places. This trio was soon joined by the fastest driver from qualifying, Tim Sugden, who wasn't going to let starting from the back of the grid after a post qualifying penatly dampen his spirits.
By lap 5 Malagamuwa was still in the lead with Williamson close on his tail who in turn was being persued by the flying #64 of Sugden. Chong remained in contention in 4th followed by Hammam, having a great opening race to his season. In 6th last minute newcomer to the series Mok Weng Sun was having a storming race.
By lap 8, Chong was into 3rd place as Sugden slipped back, with Williamson in 2nd and Malagamuwa in the lead but never free of his competitor's attention. As the trio raced to the chequered flag it was to be a first round victory for Malagamuwa, 2008's Vice-Champion, the perfect start to his season.
Hammam finished in 4th followed by the wonderful debut of Mok. Rounding out the top six was Mel Choo (ThunderAsia Racing) who made up three places from his qualifying time after the AMAC team speedily resolved a brake issue.
Sugden in 7th, was followed home by George Chouthe Chinese Taipei driver finishing a credible 8th in his first AMAC event.
With all the drivers crossing the line it was a clean and well fought race - a great way to start the season plus everyone gets to do it all again on Sunday!