Speedworks Toyota driver Tom Ingram set a searing pace on a drying Brands Hatch circuit during the first practice session of the 2015 BTCC season.
The 21-year-old recorded a succession of fastest lap times late in the session, ultimately setting a time of 50.665s as conditions at the Kent circuit improved rapidly.
That put Ingram over half a second clear of his nearest rival, Matt Neal, who took the brand new works Honda Civic Type-R to the second quickest time of the session having languished well down the leaderboard early on.
Josh Cook went third fastest in the unfancied Racing for Heroes-entered Chevrolet Cruze, three tenths down on Neal and marginally ahead of fourth placed man Rob Collard (West Surrey Racing BMW), the only other driver to lap within a second of Ingram.
Completing the top six were Dave Newsham (PMR Chevrolet) and Andy Priaulx (WSR BMW), while Aron Smith was best of the Team BMR Volkswagen CCs in seventh ahead of team boss Warren Scott.
Jason Plato and Colin Turkington had set the early pace when conditions were not at their best, but tumbled down the order during the late flurry of improvements. The duo ended up 11th and 13th.
Andrew Jordan, in his first outing for the factory MG team, suffered a turbo failure that restricted his running to just six laps. He finished the session in 20th, while Gordon Shedden in the sister Civic Type-R was 26th and 11 seconds off the pace.