Augusto Farfus maintained his strong form into first practice for this weekend's World Touring Car season finale at Macau with the fastest time during an incident-filled session on Friday morning.
The BMW driver, who still has an outside chance of winning the drivers' championship, used a bit of slip-streaming help from teammate Andy Priaulx to move to the top of the time sheet with 11 minutes remaining.
Farfus is happy with his preparations for the weekend – especially as he relishes the experience of racing in Macau. "It is a fantastic track," he said. "You are on the edge for the entire lap, and that is what makes it so special."
Behind Farfus on the time sheet was his Schnitzer teammate Jorg Muller, who knows that his role this weekend is to help his team win the manufacturers' championship.
Chevrolet driver Rob Huff, who had briefly been quickest in the middle stage of the session, ended up third fastest overall – ahead of BMW's Alex Zanardi.
SEAT duo Yvan Muller and Gabriele Tarquini, who are the main contenders in the fight for the drivers' crown, found there was little separating them on track as they ended up sixth and seventh overall.
The first practice session had to be stopped twice because of incidents on track. The first red flag came out just 10 minutes in when Henry Ho crashed at Police and his car was left in a dangerous position on the track.
The second red flag, which brought the session to an early halt a few minutes before its scheduled end, was caused when Lada driver Kirill Ladygin crashed spectacularly at Mandarin Bend – rebounding into the barriers on both sides of the track and badly damaging his car.
Times to follow