Chevrolet's Rob Huff upstaged the World Touring Car title contenders with the quickest time in Friday's final free practice session – but all eyes were on points leader Gabriele Tarquini who crashed heavily in the closing stages.
Tarquini is heading into the final round of the season with a two-point lead in the drivers' title chase over SEAT teammate Yvan Muller – but his hopes of a smooth weekend were dashed when he slid into the barriers just before Police corner with three minutes of practice remaining. Although Tarquini's car suffered damage to its right front in the accident, the SEAT team is optimistic that it can be fixed before the afternoon's crucial qualifying session.
Tarquini's accident brought out the red flags to bring an early end to the session, and it guaranteed that Huff secured the top spot on the time sheet.
Huff had been quickest for the entire session and it was left to his rivals to battle for the second spot as the drivers made their final preparations for qualifying. In the end, it was three-time WTCC champion Andy Priaulx who took the place – having pushed hard in the closing stages and let his BMW brush the barriers as he found the limits.
Fellow BMW driver Jorg Muller was third quickest, after working on slip-streaming tactics with his team's only remaining title contender – Augusto Farfus – who ended up fourth overall. SEAT's fastest driver was Rickard Rydell in fifth, with the team's other title hopeful, Yvan Muller, eighth fastest.
Apart from Tarquini's accident, the only other notable incident involved BMW's Sergio Hernandez, who spun at Lisboa early on.