Jason Plato topped the timesheets in practice for the latest round of the British Touring Car Championship at Croft.
The former champion's name had featured in the top three positions consistently throughout the pair of sessions during the morning, but it was only in the final three minutes of session two that the RML Chevrolet driver sat in the top spot, having lapped in 1m26.027s.
His late effort knocked Colin Turkington's WSR BMW down to second place by over three tenths of a second.
Third quickest was James Thompson, the Team Dynamics Honda driver having set his best time in the first session - in which he was fastest of all.
Defending champion Fabrizio Giovanardi was the best Vauxhall driver in fourth, the Italian failing to improve on his times in the second session, like Thompson.
Stephen Jelley was fifth quickest in the second WSR car, while RML's James Nash was the star of the morning, the Chevrolet rookie setting the sixth fastest time in his Lacetti – one place ahead of his more experienced team-mate Mat Jackson.
Vauxhall's Andrew Jordan was eighth quickest, ahead of the ageing Tech-Speed Honda Integra-R of the again impressive Paul O'Neill.
Jonathan Adam was Motorbase BMW's best driver in practice, completing the top 10 ahead of the Clyde Valley Racing SEATs. Adam Jones went off during the second session, filling his car's gear linkage with gravel and ensuring that he did not get out on the circuit until the final 20 minutes.
Another to go off into the gravel was Harry Vaulkhard, doing so at Clervaux in his Tempus Sport Chevrolet during the second session. The only significant incident in the first session was a red flag, caused when John George pulled his TH Motorsport Honda off the track.
Championship leader Matt Neal, weighed down by 45kg of success ballast, was only 13th quickest in his Vauxhall.Combined times:
Pos Driver Car Time
1. Jason Plato Chevrolet 1m26.027s
2. Colin Turkington BMW 1m26.380s
3. James Thompson Honda 1m26.533s
4. Fabrizio Giovanardi Vauxhall 1m26.536s
5. Stephen Jelley BMW 1m26.543s
6. James Nash Chevrolet 1m26.667s
7. Mat Jackson Chevrolet 1m26.681s
8. Andrew Jordan Vauxhall 1m26.820s
9. Paul O'Neill Honda 1m26.827s
10. Jonathan Adam BMW 1m26.947s
11. Dan Eaves SEAT 1m26.995s
12. Adam Jones SEAT 1m27.019s
13. Matt Neal Vauxhall 1m27.085s
14. Rob Collard BMW 1m27.366s
15. Harry Vaulkhard Chevrolet 1m27.635s
16. Tom Chilton Ford 1m27.855s
17. Tom Onslow-Cole Ford 1m27.944s
18. David Pinkney Honda 1m28.121s
19. Martyn Bell Honda 1m28.193s
20. Martin Johnson Vauxhall 1m28.900s
21. John George Honda 1m28.987s