Rob Huff led the way in the 30-minute WTCC test session at the Slovakiaring in the Lada, finishing almost half a second ahead of Citroen's Ma Qing Hua.
The 2012 champion knocked former teammate Yvan Muller from the top of the time sheets halfway through the session with a time of 2m04.100s, going faster still with just under two minutes to go to keep the Russian manufacturer on top come the chequered flag.
Ma Qing Hua then put in the fastest time of all the Citroen runners to go second fastest, just three tenths of a second behind Huff, but the British driver found more time in his unballasted Lada Vesta to break the 2m05s barrier with a time of 2m04.967s, and ended the session comfortably fastest, 0.433s ahead of Ma.
Gabriele Tarquini was the fastest of the Honda drivers, the Italian improving to go third fastest just behind Ma's Citroen, despite the Honda now carrying the same amount of ballast of 60kg on his Honda for the first time since Marrakech in April.
However, a last minute improvement from Campos Racing's Hugo Valente saw the Frenchman depose Tarquini for third, and also ensure all four manufacturers finished in the top four positions in the results.
Valente was therefore also the fastest of the independent drivers, while Muller finished fifth behind Tarquini, with Tiago Monteiro sixth fastest in the second quickest of the Honda Civics.
Championship leader Jose Maria Lopez was just 10th fastest in his Citroen, 1.5 seconds off of Huff's pace, setting the same time to the thousandth of a second as Huff's teammate Jaap van Lagen.
Lopez's fellow Argentinian Nestor Girolami finished 12th fastest in his first official outing in a TC1 class touring car with the Nika Racing Honda, a further two tenths behind.
|2||Ma Qing Hua||Citroen||2'05.400||0.433|
|9||Jaap van Lagen||Lada||2'06.422||1.455|
|10||Jose Maria Lopez||Citroen||2'06.422||1.455|
Neil Hudson / TouringCarTimes