Augusto Farfus has topped the timesheets in the opening practice session for the World Touring Car Championship event at Okayama, but the big surprise came in the form of second-placed Robert Dahlgren, who initially headed the order in his Volvo C30.
The Scandinavian Touring Car Champion was the first driver to post a lap time on a continually drying circuit doused by overnight rain, and it was that lap – eventually 0.520 seconds down on Farfus’ best time – that put him second-quickest at the end of the session.
Completing the top five were Alain Menu, his Chevrolet team-mate Robert Huff (who only ventured onto the circuit with eight minutes of the session to run) and Norbert Michelisz.
Championship leader Yvan Muller finished up sixth-quickest, just ahead of fellow championship rival Andy Priaulx, while Gabriele Tarquini – the other title contender – was only eleventh-quickest in his SR Sport SEAT.
Kristian Poulsen – the Independent Trophy race-winner of five of the last six races – was twelfth-quickest overall in the session and fastest in his championship category.
Further down the order saw several incidents, with Macau-based driver Henry Ho spinning into the gravel and the Williams corner, and the session was red-flagged completely when Masataka Yanagida brought his Wiechers Sport BMW to a halt with smoke billowing from the engine bay.
Yanagida’s team-mate Mehdi Bennani failed to post a time after stopping out on the circuit during his out-lap from the pits.
2010 WTCC Okayama 1st Practice Session Times:
[Original images via FIA WTCC official site]