Chevrolet's Rob Huff topped the times in today's first World Touring Car Championship free practice session at Suzuka
On a track declared wet from morning drizzle, the Briton assumed his place at the top of the timing screens early on and was never unseated, finishing up with a best time of 58.657s.
Huff's team-mate Alain Menu was best of the rest, falling just 0.040s short of Huff's time, while SUNRED's Tiago Monteiro managed to prevent a Chevy 1-2-3 by going third-fastest in his SEAT, leaving championship leader Yvan Muller to settle for fourth.
Robert Dahlgren rebounded from a trip through the grass at Turn 8 to go fifth-quickest in the Volvo C30, with 2008 world champion Gabriele Tarquini sixth. Bamboo Engineering's Darryl O'Young was best of the independent drivers, finishing up just ahead of Tom Coronel's ROAL BMW in seventh.
Despite the slippery conditions the session passed mostly without incident. Rally driver Toshi Arai, who is competing in a fourth works Chevy this weekend, prompted the only brief stoppage of the morning when he left the track at Turn 3 with 10 minutes remaining.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Rob Huff Chevrolet 58.657s 2. Alain Menu Chevrolet 58.697s + 0.040s 3. Tiago Monteiro SUNRED SEAT 58.918s + 0.261s 4. Yvan Muller Chevrolet 59.007s + 0.350s 5. Robert Dahlgren Polestar Volvo 59.284s + 0.627s 6. Gabriele Tarquini SUNRED SEAT 59.322s + 0.665s 7. Darryl O'Young Bamboo Chevrolet 59.354s + 0.697s 8. Tom Coronel ROAL BMW 59.416s + 0.759s 9. Kristian Poulsen Engstler BMW 59.426s + 0.769s 10. Mehdi Bennani Proteam BMW 59.507s + 0.850s 11. Colin Turkington Wiechers BMW 59.639s + 0.982s 12. Javier Villa Proteam BMW 59.685s + 1.028s 13. Michel Nykjaer SUNRED SEAT 59.689s + 1.032s 14. Yukinori Taniguchi Bamboo Chevrolet 59.774s + 1.117s 15. Norbert Michelisz Zengo BMW 59.874s + 1.217s 16. Aleksei Dudukalo SUNRED SEAT 59.885s + 1.228s 17. Fredy Barth SUNRED SEAT 59.911s + 1.254s 18. Toshihiro Arai Chevrolet 59.939s + 1.282s 19. Franz Engstler Engstler BMW 1m00.057s + 1.400s 20. Pepe Oriola SUNRED SEAT 1m00.123s + 1.466s 21. Hiroki Yoshimoto SUNRED SEAT 1m00.580s + 1.923s 22. Charles Ng Engstler BMW 1m00.600s + 1.943s 23. Masaki Kano KK BMW 1m00.793s + 2.136s 24. Fabio Fabiani Proteam BMW 1m03.460s + 4.803s
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