Alex MacDowall posted the fastest time around the Shanghai International Circuit in testing for the World Touring Car Championship in China, with Rob Huff close behind as the second fastest driver.
MacDowall continued his strong run of form that has been gathering mometum in the second half of the season to put his bamboo engineering Chevrolet at the top of the timesheets. Huff, in the works RML car, was just 0.042 seconds behind.
Pepe Oriola was third fastest after a fast lap late in the session, with the Spaniard 0.083 seconds down in MacDowall.
Tiago Monteiro put in a strong lap to go fourth fastest in only the Honda Civic WTCC’s second event.
Colin Turkington was fifth fastest in his first touring car session in a front-wheel drive car for several years. The Northern Irishman is racing a Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T for the WSR team this weekend, racing under the ‘Team Aviva-Cofco’ banner. It is his first appearance in the WTCC since China 2011, and WSR’s first appearance since Macau 2010.
Yvan Muller was sixth fastest, crucially three tenths of a second slower than team-mate Huff, with whom he is tied on points at the top of the championship.
Tom Coronel was the top BMW driver in seventh, ahead of Darryl O’Young, Tom Boardman and Fernando Monje.
The third works Chevrolet of Alain Menu was not on the pace as he usually is, with the Swiss driver only managing 11th, 0.884 seconds off the pace.
The session was cut short by eight minutes due to a loose stack of tyres.
WTCC qualifying takes place at 15:30 Shanghai time on Saturday (07:30 GMT).