Kerr made a clean getaway from the rolling start while Hulkenberg squeezed the Team France car of Loic Duval on the approach to Paddock Hill bend.
Behind them Alex Yoong gained two places in the Malaysian car. But the New Zealand car of Matt Halliday lost its nose in the melee of the opening corners, forcing a pit stop which took them out of contention for points.
Enrico Toccacelo moved up to third when Duval ran through the gravel at Stirlings. Shortly afterwards Nur Ali dumped himself out of the race by spinning off under braking for Druids.
A potentially worse accident was narrowly averted when Sebastien Buemi (Switzerland) and (South Africa) clashed at Paddock Hill.
It looked like a replay of the specacular Khalil Beschir-Enrico Toccacelo crash at the same place last year. But mercifully both cars stayed on the ground and the South African car even kept going – a reversal of poetic justice because Buemi’s passing attempt that triggering the crash appeared legitimate.
Despite the incidents there was no call for a safety car and Kerr eased clear of Hulkenberg in second. He crossed the line a substantial 8.3s ahead having also set the fastest lap on his final lap. Hulkenberg was second and Toccacelo third.