Gabriele Tarquini showed strong pace in the SEAT Leon TDI by setting the quickest time in the Friday test session at Zolder ahead of the Race of Belgium.

The Lukoil-SUNRED-entered former world champion took the top spot from standings leader Rob Huff of Chevrolet towards the end of the session. The Briton would end the session third, just behind teammate Alain Menu. The Swiss driver lost out to Tarquini by just .39 of a second.

Tom Coronel was the top BMW driver in fourth, with Yvan Muller fifth in the third Chevrolet. Michel Nykjaer was the top Yokohama Trophy runner in sixth place.

The session was disrupted by a red flag in the middle of the session when Tarquini's teammate Aleksei Dudukalo hit the tyre wall at the Villeneuve chicane. In the final moments of the session Marchy Lee stopped his BMW at Turn 2, bringing out the red flags and an early end to the session.

Racing with the Chevrolet Cruze 1.6 turbo for the first time, Bamboo Engineering's drivers Darryl O'Young and Yukinori Taniguchi finished the session in ninth and 19th respectively.

Norbert Michelisz, making his first appearance of the season finished his first ever session in a BMW in 16th place. Newcomer Urs Sonderegger was 20th of the 21 cars in his turbocharged Wiechers-Sport BMW, beating only the normally aspirated BMW of Fabio Fabiani which was nearly seven seconds off the pace.

The teams and drivers will get the opportunity to perfect their set-ups in the two free practice sessions on Saturday morning.

Pos Cl Driver Nat Team Car Time Gap Laps
1   Gabriele Tarquini ITA SUNRED SEAT Leon 2.0 TDI 1:39.726   12
2   Alain Menu CHE Chevrolet Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 1:39.765 0.039 11
3   Robert Huff GBR Chevrolet Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 1:40.050 0.324 8
4   Tom Coronel NLD ROAL BMW 320 TC 1:40.132 0.406 11
5   Yvan Muller FRA Chevrolet Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 1:40.308 0.582 11
6 Y Michel Nykjaer DNK SUNRED SEAT Leon 2.0 TDI 1:40.520 0.794 11
7 Y Fredy Barth CHE SUNRED SEAT Leon 2.0 TDI 1:40.694 0.968 11
8 Y Kristian Poulsen DNK Engstler BMW 320 TC 1:40.700 0.974 14
9 Y Darryl O’Young HKG Bamboo Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 1:40.951 1.225 13
10   Robert Dahlgren SWE Polestar Volvo C30 1:41.018 1.292 9
11 Y Mehdi Bennani MAR Proteam BMW 320 TC 1:41.041 1.315 15
12 Y Franz Engstler DEU Engstler BMW 320 TC 1:41.051 1.325 10
13 Y Javier Villa ESP Proteam BMW 320 TC 1:41.165 1.439 15
14 Y Pepe Oriola ESP SUNRED SEAT Leon 2.0 TDI 1:41.224 1.498 10
15   Tiago Monteiro PRT SUNRED SEAT Leon 2.0 TDI 1:41.308 1.582 11
16 Y Norbert Michelisz HUN Zengo BMW 320 TC 1:41.313 1.587 14
17 Y Marchy Lee HKG KK BMW 320 TC 1:41.756 2.030 12
18 Y Aleksei Dudukalo RUS SUNRED SEAT Leon 2.0 TDI 1:42.806 3.080 7
19 Y Yukinori Taniguchi JPN Bamboo Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 1:43.752 4.026 12
20 Y Urs Sonderegger CHE Wiechers BMW 320 TC 1:44.932 5.206 13
21 Y Fabio Fabiani ITA Proteam BMW 320si 1:46.609 6.883 13