Yvan Muller put his SEAT Leon TDI at the top of the timesheets in official testing ahead of the World Touring Car Championship round at Okayama.
The Frenchman, who lies second in the world championship, seven points behind his team-mate Gabriele Tarquini, lapped the Japanese circuit in 1m38.518s, beating Augusto Farfus's Schnitzer BMW by just 0.016s.
The next four positions were locked out by the other works SEATs with Tiago Monteiro heading Rickard Rydell, Tarquini - 0.289s behind Muller - and Jordi Gene. All four set their best times in the final three minutes.
Former world champion Andy Priaulx had headed the timesheets early on in his RBM BMW, but he was pushed back to seventh by the end, one place ahead of Alain Menu in the best of the Chevrolet Cruzes.
Britain's James Thompson was the best of the Lada drivers in 13th place - the new European Touring Car Cup winner impressively within a second of Muller's benchmark time in his Priora.
Felix Porteiro was the best of the independent runners in his Proteam BMW.
Pos Driver Car Time Gap 1. Yvan Muller SEAT 1m38.518s 2. Augusto Farfus BMW 1m38.534s + 0.016s 3. Tiago Monteiro SEAT 1m38.546s + 0.028s 4. Rickard Rydell SEAT 1m38.694s + 0.176s 5. Gabriele Tarquini SEAT 1m38.807s + 0.289s 6. Jordi Gene SEAT 1m38.817s + 0.299s 7. Andy Priaulx BMW 1m38.835s + 0.317s 8. Alain Menu Chevrolet 1m38.883s + 0.365s 9. Jorg Muller BMW 1m39.049s + 0.531s 10. Nicola Larini Chevrolet 1m39.193s + 0.675s 11. Robert Huff Chevrolet 1m39.273s + 0.755s 12. Sergio Hernandez BMW 1m39.425s + 0.907s 13. James Thompson Lada 1m39.498s + 0.980s 14. Felix Porteiro BMW 1m39.614s + 1.096s 15. Alessandro Zanardi BMW 1m39.653s + 1.135s 16. Stefano D'Aste BMW 1m39.840s + 1.322s 17. Jaap van Lagen LADA 1m40.223s + 1.705s 18. Nobuteru Taniguchi BMW 1m40.238s + 1.720s 19. Tom Boardman SEAT 1m40.488s + 1.970s 20. Seiji Ara BMW 1m40.734s + 2.216s 21. Joao Paolo de Oliveira SEAT 1m40.734s + 2.216s 22. Franz Engstler BMW 1m40.826s + 2.308s 23. Tom Coronel SEAT 1m41.124s + 2.606s 24. Kristian Poulsen BMW 1m41.481s + 2.963s 25. Kirill Ladygin LADA 1m41.840s + 3.322s 26. Henry Ho BMW 1m42.480s + 3.962s 27. Masaki Kano BMW 1m44.121s + 5.603s