Josh Files won the first TCR Middle East race in Abu Dhabi, but only just as Davit Kajaia came very close to securing the first ever Alfa Romeo victory in the TCR category.
Files started from pole position but made a slow start, allowing Kajaia to take the lead.
The reigning TCR Germany champion closed in on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta driver and managed to get back into the lead with just two laps left.
Files won the race 1.3 seconds ahead of Kajaia while Italian teenager Giacomo Altoè made a strong debut race to finish third in the Top Run Motorsport-prepared Subaru.
Championship leader Brandon Gdovic finished a lonely fourth, a full 21 seconds behind Altoe in third.
Mohammed Al Owais was classified fifth but stopped on track due to technical problems with his Honda Civic on the final lap, as did season opener winner Luca Engstler and Stefan Goede who was classified as seventh and eighth respectively, one lap behind.