Rob Huff snatched the quickest time in the dying seconds of the final World Touring Car free practice session at Porto today.
The Briton dug deep after a late red flag stoppage and unleashed a stunning lap, nearly six tenths of a second faster than anyone else.
The Chevrolet driver was the only man to break below the 2m10s barrier, eclipsing the previous benchmark times of Augusto Farfus and Alain Menu.
Huff is looking to score his third win out of three on street circuits this season, following his earlier victories at Marrakech and Pau.
Farfus and Menu remained second and third to the end of the half hour practice with a couple of tenths in hand over the SEATs of Gabriele Tarquini, Rickard Rydell and home driver Tiago Monteiro.
Andy Priaux was seventh quickest in his BMW, ahead of the third Chevrolet of Nicola Larini, with Jordi Gene (SEAT) and Jorg Muller (BMW) completing the top 10.
Alex Zanardi's session ended early when he slid straight on into the tyres at Rua de Vila Nova. Fellow BMW driver Farfus did well to avoid him when he arrived on the scene, but Zanardi's ROAL Motorsport team-mate Sergio Hernandez crashed into the back of the stricken 3 Series and brought about the session's only red flag.
Tom Coronel was the best of the independent runners in 12th place, just a fraction ahead of Stefano D'Aste's BMW. Hernandez finished up 14th with championship leader Yvan Muller only 15th.
James Thompson continued to add mileage to the new Lada Priora, but his best time was only 23rd fastest - six tenths of a second slower than his team-mates in their older 110 models.
Pos Driver Car Time Gap
1. Robert Huff Chevrolet 2m09.771s
2. Augusto Farfus BMW 2m10.354s +0.583
3. Alain Menu Chevrolet 2m10.397s +0.626
4. Gabriele Tarquini SEAT 2m10.524s +0.753
5. Rickard Rydell SEAT 2m10.663s +0.892
6. Tiago Monteiro SEAT 2m10.735s +0.964
7. Andy Priaulx BMW 2m10.855s +1.084
8. Nicola Larini Chevrolet 2m10.999s +1.228
9. Jordi Gene SEAT 2m11.280s +1.509
10. Jorg Muller BMW 2m11.418s +1.647
11. Alex Zanardi BMW 2m11.517s +1.746
12. Tom Coronel SEAT 2m11.931s +2.160
13. Stefano D'Aste BMW 2m11.987s +2.216
14. Sergio Hernandez BMW 2m12.146s +2.375
15. Yvan Muller SEAT 2m12.325s +2.554
16. Franz Engstler BMW 2m12.638s +2.867
17. Mehdi Bennani SEAT 2m12.707s +2.936
18. Felix Porteiro BMW 2m12.963s +3.192
19. Kristian Poulsen BMW 2m14.254s +4.483
20. Kirill Ladygin Lada 2m14.410s +4.639
21. Jaap van Lagen Lada 2m14.447s +4.676
22. Tom Boardman SEAT 2m14.600s +4.829
23. James Thompson Lada 2m15.018s +5.247
24. Diego Puyo SEAT 2m15.143s +5.372