Chevrolet's Rob Huff upstaged the World Touring Car title contenders with the quickest time in Friday's final free practice session - but all eyes were on points leader Gabriele Tarquini who crashed heavily in the closing stages.
Tarquini is heading into the final round of the season with a two-point lead in the drivers' title chase over SEAT team-mate Yvan Muller - but his hopes of a smooth weekend were dashed when he slid into the barriers just before Police with three minutes of practice remaining.
Although Tarquini's car suffered damage to its right front in the accident, the SEAT team is optimistic that it can be fixed before the afternoon's crucial qualifying session.
Tarquini's accident brought out the red flags to bring an early end to the session, and it guaranteed that Huff secured the top spot on the timesheet.
Huff had been quickest for the entire session and it was left to his rivals to battle for the second spot as the drivers made their final preparations for qualifying.
In the end, it was three-time WTCC champion Andy Priaulx who took the place - having pushed hard in the closing stages and let his BMW brush the barriers as he found the limits.
Fellow BMW driver Jorg Muller was third quickest, after working on slipstreaming tactics with his team's only remaining title contender - Augusto Farfus - who ended up fourth overall.
SEAT's fastest driver was Rickard Rydell in fifth, with the team's other title hopeful Yvan Muller was eighth fastest.
Apart from Tarquini's accident, the only other notable incident involved BMW's Sergio Hernandez, who spun at Lisboa early on.
Pos Driver Car Time Gap
1. Rob Huff Chevrolet 2:31.725
2. Andy Priaulx BMW 2:31.857 +0.132
3. Jorg Muller BMW 2:31.909 +0.184
4. Augusto Farfus BMW 2:31.992 +0.267
5. Rickard Rydell SEAT 2:32.129 +0.404
6. Alex Zanardi BMW 2:32.175 +0.450
7. Alain Menu Chevrolet 2:32.181 +0.456
8. Yvan Muller SEAT 2:32.197 +0.472
9. Tiago Monteiro SEAT 2:32.349 +0.624
10. Gabriele Tarquini SEAT 2:32.403 +0.678
11. Jordi Gene SEAT 2:32.608 +0.883
12. Tom Coronel SEAT 2:32.865 +1.140
13. Stefano D'Aste BMW 2:33.222 +1.497
14. Nicola Larini Chevrolet 2:33.443 +1.718
15. Sergio Hernandez BMW 2:34.279 +2.554
16. Andre Couto SEAT 2:34.616 +2.891
17. Felix Porteiro BMW 2:34.678 +2.953
18. James Thompson LADA 2:34.751 +3.026
19. Kristian Poulsen BMW 2:36.038 +4.313
20. Jaap van Lagen LADA 2:36.118 +4.393
21. Tom Boardman SEAT 2:36.679 +4.954
22. Nobuteru Taniguchi BMW 2:37.638 +5.913
23. Henry Ho BMW 2:39.482 +7.757
24. Franz Engstler BMW 2:43.248 +11.523
25. Joseph Rosa Merszei BMW 2:44.857 +13.132
26. Liu Lic Ka BMW 2:52.274 +20.549