Farfus tops first Okayama practice

Augusto Farfus set the pace in the first World Touring Car Championship practice session at Okayama in Japan

Farfus tops first Okayama practice

The Brazilian's 1m38.085s lap came 11 minutes into the half-hour session and was enough to keep his RBM BMW on top for the remainder.

Prior to Farfus going quickest, Scandinavian Touring Car champion Robert Dahlgren had led proceedings in his Polestar Volvo.

Dahlgren, who was the first man to set a time on the track, which had dried out considerably since overnight rain, wound up second quickest courtesy of that early lap, 0.520 seconds down on Farfus.

Alain Menu was the best of the Chevrolet drivers in third ahead of his team-mate Rob Huff - who did not venture out on track until there were just eight minutes left - and Norbert Michelisz's Zengo-Dension SEAT.

Championship leader Yvan Muller was seventh in his Chevrolet ahead of the main title rival Andy Priaulx (RBM BMW) and Tiago Monteiro, in the best of the SR-Sport SEATs.

Series returnee Colin Turkington was ninth, 0.8s off the pace in his WSR BMW. Tom Coronel (SR-Sport SEAT) completed the top 10.

World champion Gabriele Tarquini was 11th for SR-Sport while the Poulsen Motorsport BMW of Kristian Poulsen was the best of the independent entrants in 12th.

Macanese driver Henry Ho spun his BMW into the gravel at Williams corner at mid-distance and Mehdi Bennani did not complete a lap as his Wiechers-Sport BMW stopped on-track during the opening few minutes.

Things got even worse for the team when Masataka Yanagida stopped his car with smoke pouring from it late on. That brought out the red flags and caused a premature conclusion to the session.

Pos Driver Car Time Gap 1. Augusto Farfus BMW 1m38.085s 2. Robert Dahlgren Volvo 1m38.605s + 0.520s 3. Alain Menu Chevrolet 1m38.612s + 0.527s 4. Rob Huff Chevrolet 1m38.759s + 0.674s 5. Norbert Michelisz SEAT 1m38.761s + 0.676s 6. Yvan Muller Chevrolet 1m38.816s + 0.731s 7. Andy Priaulx BMW 1m38.861s + 0.776s 8. Tiago Monteiro SEAT 1m38.869s + 0.784s 9. Colin Turkington BMW 1m38.918s + 0.833s 10. Tom Coronel SEAT 1m38.937s + 0.852s 11. Gabriele Tarquini SEAT 1m38.966s + 0.881s 12. Kristian Poulsen BMW 1m38.981s + 0.896s 13. Fredy Barth SEAT 1m39.106s + 1.021s 14. Michael Rossi SEAT 1m39.154s + 1.069s 15. Michel Nykjaer SEAT 1m39.220s + 1.135s 16. Darryl O'Young Chevrolet 1m39.362s + 1.277s 17. Yukinori Taniguchi Chevrolet 1m39.613s + 1.528s 18. Stefano D'Aste BMW 1m39.934s + 1.849s 19. Sergio Hernandez BMW 1m39.961s + 1.876s 20. Franz Engstler BMW 1m40.050s + 1.965s 21. Andrei Romanov BMW 1m40.492s + 2.407s 22. Masataka Yanagida BMW 1m40.631s + 2.546s 23. Yoshihiro Ito BMW 1m40.726s + 2.641s 24. Nobuteru Taniguchi BMW 1m41.468s + 3.383s 25. Kevin Chen  BMW 1m41.929s + 3.844s 26. Henry Ho BMW 1m42.307s + 4.222s 27. Mehdi Bennani BMW 
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