Chevrolet led the way in the first free practice session at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, with reigning champion Yvan Muller fastest of all ahead of team-mates Rob Huff and Alain Menu.
Muller’s time of 1:43.049 was just less than a tenth quicker than Huff, with Menu just over half a second back at the end of the 30 minute session.
The independent SEAT León WTCC of Pepe Oriola was fourth fastest and the best placed of the SEAT cars, ahead of Gabriele Tarquini’s Lukoil Racing Team SEAT, with Tom Coronel sixth and the last of the cars to set a time within a second of Muller’s.
Tiago Monteiro was ninth fastest, now running the SUNRED 1.6T engine in his León, with Fernando Monje and Tom Boardman finishing 13th and 14th fastest on their first outing of the season after both didn’t take part at Monza.
The two Arena Motorsport Ford Focuses were right next to each other on the timing sheets, separated by just 0.048s with James Nash leading Tom Chilton in 15th and 16th.
There were a few offs in the session but no major incidents, with Charles Ng going off at the final corner 10 minutes into the session in his Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW, Proteam’s Isaac Tutumlu slipping off the circuit at Turn 6 and both Stefano D’Aste and Tom Coronel making mistakes at Turn 8.
The next session is at 12:00 CET.